Days of Yore
 
as recounted by

Bill Day

 

 

Fourth of July
The Fourth of July celebration each year is so thoroughly planned by the Haddonfield Celebrations Association, that the townspeople are now fully aware that they do not have to leave the town’s limits to find entertainment for the day.

A schedule for the Holiday is arranged by the Committee beginning with the parade in the morning, the afternoon baseball games, and ending with the fireworks display in the evening.  Nothing is left to be desired for a full day of safe and sane fun.

It is interesting to learn how this Fourth program was initiated and how it has been expanded through the years.  In the early 1930’s, there was a privately owned Birdwood Club in a clubhouse on Hawthorne avenue.  The members promoted a Fourth program just for the neighborhood every year.  In 1938, a member, Mr. Leondard Dudley, was chairman of the program, and he formed the Fourth Celebrations Association.  He expanded the parade to the Main street, and with the assistance of his committee, the next 10 years saw the program become a town function that grew larger each year.  When Mr. Dudley retired actively from the Association in 1948 he turned his chairmanship over to Mr. Eugene V. Hinski who had bee assisting him for a number of years.

A house to house collection had been started with Roland R. Harden the treasurer, and later Herbert Stratton took over the duties.  Fireworks were displayed down on the Evans lagoon until the year some of them backfired, injuring a number of spectators.  The Commissioners forbid any display the following year so a rodeo attraction was substituted.

The town father finally consented to permit fireworks again.  Because of the growth of the trees at the lagoon that interfered with the spectacle, the program was moved to the high school athletic field where a more controlled program was possible.  When Eugene Hinski became a borough commissioner in 1968, Robert Carpenter became chairman and he has very capably served in that capacity to the present time.

Last year, a lady from Erlton stood on the curb in front of the Indian King watching the parade pass by.  She was heard to say, “You know, I come over to Haddonfield every Fourth of July to see this.  I was raised in a town that had a Main street just like this one and a parade was held on it every Fourth.  I certainly hope that Haddonfield never lets anything happen to stop this.”

Our ex-mayor, Gene Hinski, for 13 years the guiding hand of the Haddonfield Celebrations Association, Inc., was the source that made this article possible.


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