Middletown celebrates 350th

MIDDLETOWN — More than 1,000 people participated in the Middletown 350 Parade and Time Capsule celebration on June 21 to commemorate the founding of Middletown Township in 1664.

Schools, Scouts, marching bands, floats, civic, fraternal and youth groups, police, fire, EMS and other township services, vintage vehicles, dancers, pipers and local officials were among those who marched in the parade, which stepped off at Middletown High School North on Tindall Road, crossed Route 35 to historic Middletown Village on Kings Highway and ended at Church Street.

At the parade destination — the Middletown Arts Center — the Middletown 350 Time Capsule was buried. The capsule is slated to be opened for the township’s 400th anniversary in 2064.

“Where we congregate today is one of the oldest continuously inhabited areas in all of New Jersey, and one of the seats of Colonial America, Mayor Stephanie Murray said. “Hundreds of years later, here we stand, celebrating our rich heritage and prosperous town — sending our message of community pride and hope into the future.

“Today we bury our time capsule, to be opened at our 400th anniversary in 2064. This area has been a hub for generations of Middletowners, a place where this town has come together time and time again to affirm its commitment to the community and each other.”

Among the items included in the time capsule are letters to the future from township officials to their 2064 counterparts, artwork and essays by students, an iPhone and iPod, a grocery bill, the township budget and photographs.