Contact: Kelly Vence
Public Information Office
ELIZABETH, NJ—May 19, 2014 - The City of Elizabeth is teaming up with the 350th Anniversary Steering Committee to host a Unity & Diversity Block Party in honor of Elizabethtown’s 350th Anniversary. This celebration will take place on Sunday, June 29th and will be held on Winfield Scott Plaza, in front of City Hall.  The Block Party is open to all residents and visitors of the City of Elizabeth. 
“The City of Elizabeth is a multicultural municipality, where more than 30 languages are spoken. Individuals from throughout the world have chosen our City as their home and as residents, are united in their support of our community. This Block Party, along with a series of events scheduled throughout the year all over Elizabeth, will celebrate our impressive diversity and unity," said Mayor J. Christian Bollwage. “This event is a great way to share the history of our City with all who attend, while allowing everyone to get to know each other. I encourage all of you to show your support on this wonderful day and honor the extraordinary community Elizabeth remains today.”
The event will highlight the diverse nationalities, cultures and contributions that have marked Elizabeth since its beginning three hundred and fifty years ago. A steering committee, led by Bill Butler of the Elizabeth YMCA and Reverend Bob Higgs of the First Presbyterian Church, has developed a plan for the day and has met with some of Elizabeth’s national and local ethnic organizations. The event will feature food, entertainment and informational tables, as well as an array of visual and performing arts celebrating the diversity of several cultural groups. 
“For the first time in many years, we will celebrate our diversity by inviting everyone in our city and region to come together for a day of dance, music, food, art and culture,” said Bill Butler. “Together, we will remember that we all have much more in common than we sometimes realize.”
In 1665, Elizabethtown, which was named in honor of the wife of Sir George Carteret, was established on the banks of the Elizabeth River with a population of seven hundred. Today, the City of Elizabeth is the Union County Seat and New Jersey’s fourth largest municipality with a population of 124,969. 
Elizabethtown became the first capital of New Jersey and from the days of the City’s founding, many prominent individuals have walked its streets. Alexander Hamilton called Elizabeth home for a time during his youth and George Washington lunched at Boxwood Hall before heading to New York to be sworn in as the first President of the United States in 1789. The locations that played host to these noted figures and impressive events have been preserved and commemorated through the numerous memorials, historic sites, and statues that grace the City's landscape.
This is event is co-sponsored by The City of Elizabeth, PSE&G and Elberon Development Group, with participating sponsors of the 20th District Legislative Office, Spencer Savings Bank and Rotary Club of Elizabeth.
If anyone would like more information on any of the 350th Anniversary events or the Elizabethtown 350th itself, please visit or send an email to Reverend Robert Higgs, Pastor of the First Presbyterian Church of Elizabeth at For more information on this event, please contact Bill Butler at or call 908-249-4815.