The North Brunswick Youth Sports Festival – a fun family affair – celebrates 25 years
NORTH BRUNSWICK – Twenty-five years ago, Darren Snediker decided to provide a fun weekend for his youth soccer club during the opening ceremonies.
“We had a few jumps, a few games and a few food vendors,” he said.
The following year, youth baseball followed.
“It was a joint effort bringing in a few small rides…and when I say small, the rides came on a truck and left the same day,” Snediker said.
The teams held parades on Cozzens Lane and set up at Sabella Park for a “fun weekend”.
“We decided to do fireworks, but there was no parking lot, so the [Township Council at the time] said we couldn’t have it at Sabella Park and that’s when we moved to that location [on Route 1]”said Snediker.
The North Brunswick Youth Sports Festival celebrates 25 years and has grown tremendously since the days of “a few jumps, a few games and a few food vendors”.
It is a massive display of carnival rides, games, food and clothing vendors, a petting zoo, music, shows and fireworks. It is located next to DeVry/Chamberlain University on Route 1 North.
Snediker, Rich Fabian and Rodney Reinson co-chair the family festival and have a core of about 40 volunteers. This year they brought in local mum Buvana Radhakrishnan, founder and CEO of Digital Meet Sprint, who coordinated social media, publicity and public relations for the festival.
The festival is a four-week affair, which kicked off this year on June 17 and will run until July 4 with a grand finale. Planning for the massive event takes place year-round, which can bring in up to 40,000-50,000 people from all over the course of the four weeks.
“It’s a major undertaking,” Fabian said. “Darren and I travel all over to see shows to find vendors and different shows [for the festival].”
It is the primary fundraiser for all athletic groups in the township, including Adams AC Football and Cheerleading, North Brunswick Baseball and Softball Association, North Brunswick Basketball Association, and North Brunswick Soccer Club.
“We are talking about around 5,000 children,” Fabian said. “All of our listings are the cheapest in Middlesex County. All of our children receive the best uniforms, the best warm-up outfits and play all over the country. We have our 12 year old son [baseball team] go to Cooperstown for a week-long tournament, our basketball groups and our cheerleaders go to Florida.
The youth sports group festival was a ‘home run’ and Snediker, Fabian and Reinson said they couldn’t do it without the support of Mayor Francis Womack, City Council and the City Police Department. Township of North Brunswick.
For more information visit www.northbrunswickyouthsportsfestival.com.