Excited for the 92.5 XTU Anniversary Show ft. Brad Paisley this Sunday? We are too! Here are some helpful day-of-show details to make your day a safe, fun, and memorable one:
- Parking Lots Open: 1 pm (access to venue/lots prior to this is not allowed)
- Doors Open: 3 pm
- Public Transportation: The venue is easily accessible through various public transportation options like Patco, RiverLink, the Ferry, and more. Due to the amount of patrons attending this event, plus a RiverSharks baseball game and two more Cirque du Soleil performances, we urge fans to take alternative means of transportation and give themselves extra time for travel
- Tailgating Guidelines found on venue page here.
- Items Allowed: One (1) 20 oz. factory-sealed water bottle per person, small blanket, low-backed lawn chairs (less than 9'' off ground)
- Items Not Allowed: Professional cameras, video cameras, audio recording devices, laser pointers, alcholol, outside food or drink, lawn chairs, weapons, chains
- Also, don't be a buzz kill-if security and venue staff deem you intoxicated, you will not be granted entry to the venue.
Beers on a battleship? Blasphemy! Well, at least not for one day on the Battleship New Jersey at Saturday’s Garden State Craft Brewers Beer Festival.
After spending years hosting the festival at the Waterloo Village in northern New Jersey, event organizers had to move the beer tasting bonanza after the village stopped hosting local events, according to Gene Muller, the president of the Flying Fish Brewery Company and one of the organizers of the event.The festival, hosted by the Garden State Craft Brewers organization, brings out 20 local breweries to let residents sip some of the state’s locally brewed craft beers.
About 10 years ago, the event was originally held on the pier on the Camden Waterfront. But after one year where the weather was too hot to encourage people to drink alcohol, the group looked at the ship parked at the dock and thought that the crosswinds blowing on the ship might help them continue to hold the event in the summer.
So, for $45 per glass, residents get to enjoy some of the state’s locally brewed stouts and ales alongside the sights of anti-artillery guns on one of the country's most decorated ships and the Camden shoreline.
With 14 of the breweries hailing from central to northern New Jersey, Muller said that several of them do not distribute their beers in South Jersey, so Saturday’s event is a unique experience on more than one front.
“A lot of the people are from South Jersey, so they don’t get to see some of the North Jersey beers very often,” said Muller.
For the president of a brewery based out of Camden County that started in the mid 1990s, Muller said he and others wanted to promote an atmosphere that could show off some of the area’s best brewers.
“All these little guys are able to open up and generate interest in their local brews,” said Muller.
Turtle Stone Brewing Company, based out of Vineland, was also at the event as one of the 20 members of the Craft Brewers organization.
Ben Battiata began brewing his own beer over a decade ago and just recently became officially licensed to sell beer around his hometown.
Growing up, he said that there really wasn’t that much of a scene when it came to locally crafted beer.
“When I first started (brewing), I didn’t like the beer that was out there,” said Battiata. “So I thought, if you can’t get it locally, they make it.”
Ever since the company started selling the beer last year, however, Battiata said that his company has been getting interest from the Cumberland and Atlantic county areas, with beer aficionados and novices alike interested in everything from their dark stouts to their blond ale.
Battiata, now a 34-year-old still operating out of Vineland, says he tries to use as many local products as he can when it comes to creating the beer, including an interesting sweet potato beer that he says can stand up to some of the pumpkin ales that come around in the Fall.
While he admitted that the scene had grown larger when he first started, thanks in large part to efforts like Muller’s to encourage more people to get interested in their local beer makers, he said he still wants more people to try something else other than the typical Budweiser at their local chain restaurant.
“(The local beer scene) still has some vibrancy to gain, but it’s getting there,” said Battiata. “This gives them the chance to try something new and something local.”
CAMDEN — Wearing a custom-made, white silk traditional Puerto Rican dress, Carmen Gonzalez waved her native country’s flag near 3rd and Elm streets in Camden just after noon Sunday, greeting scores of parade walkers and marchers, dancers and drivers.
Gonzalez gripped the large wood flagpole and waved it through the air slowly and repeatedly, in front of her, then to her side, waiting for her spot in the 56th annual Parada San Juan Bautista.
The 49-year-old Pennsauken resident, who came to the United States from Puerto Rico at the age of 3, was one of thousands who ended the week with a vibrant celebration of Latin music, dance, garments and speech.
“I always feel like there is a part of me that belongs somewhere else,” she said. “I get goosebumps being here today.”
Celebrating Saint John the Baptist, the patron saint of Puerto Rico, this year’s parade included floats, cars and performances. The country’s red, white and blue flags painted Third Street, where the procession made its way south. Youth groups stomped their feet to the beat of drums, and others waved from the back of pickup trucks, wearing gowns and crowns.
Following the parade, a concert featuring local and regional artists was held at Wiggins Waterfront Park. The organizing group, Parada San Juan Bautista, Inc., also hosts events from May until the end of June; a gala dinner is slated for Saturday.
A key purpose of the celebrations is to instill values and culture in young people, organizers with the nonprofit group said.
Gonzalez, a mother of three, said she raised her kids to always be proud of their heritage. She continues to visit Puerto Rico, where she has a home, and one of her sons got a tattoo of the country’s flag on his forearm, she said.
“You see this in Puerto Rico all the time,” she said of the parade’s festivities. “It’s like a ‘wow’ moment.”
According to the 2010 census, 47 percent of Camden City’s population identified as having Hispanic or Latino origins.
Insomuch as the parade was a way to honor the places from which people hail, several attendees said it was also a unifying event to celebrate where they are now.
“It started as a small procession,” said program coordinator Juan Gonzalez, whose mother, Ramona, was a parade founder more than half a century ago. “Now it’s a huge cultural celebration. It’s become a civic celebration for everyone in Camden.”
Mayor Dana Redd said the event, growing in attendance and notoriety, “touches” the community and taps into the “fabric” of the city. It’s a chance to bring together people of all backgrounds, she said.
The organizing group’s president, Beatrice Caraballo, explained that the parade should be a “peaceful” one in a city tainted by crime.
Carabello said she enjoyed the Hispanic Family Center of Southern New Jersey’s float, which featured “Bomba,” a Puerto Rican music and dance style.
“Every year, I’m smack-down on the parade route,” said Theresa Atwood, 63, watching the final parade acts stroll toward Third and Market streets. “I want to see the first float to the last float. It’s always fun to watch people celebrate and be proud of their heritage.”
Reach Angelo Fichera at firstname.lastname@example.org Follow him on Twitter @AJFichera.