The 17th annual Charter Day celebration kicked off under sunny weather at 11 a.m. on Saturday, and by noon the crowd of all ages, mostly township residents, was gathering in Basking Ridge to greet friends, ride amusements and — of course — to order something good to eat.
The annual street fair, entertainment and civic get-together is scheduled to continue through 10 p.m. tonight, with live music scheduled from the afternoon through evening. Some food will be available through that time at the main stage in front of the Presbyterian Church of Basking Ridge, where the band Hoi Polloi was scheduled to play through 10 p.m.
Earlier in the day, the field behind Oak Street School was set up with rides and amusements through the afternoon. About 100 booths were set up to feature local organizations as well as food providers from Basking Ridge and other towns.
The smell of burgers, zeppoles, pizza and other specialties filled the air, as well as calls of greeting as people recognized friends or neighbors.
Most people parked on the outskirts of town or either walked from their homes. However, a shuttle also was provided from or the on Collyer Lane.
"I can finally say it's a good afternoon," said Mayor John Malay in the opening speech at the main stage. "I don't know what we did to deserve this."
A brief shower sent people onto the porches or inside the downtown stores, but the action resumed as soon as the raindrops stopped.
The Basking Ridge Patch will continue to provide scenes from Charter Day.