Celebrate Spring with Denville’s Popular Annual Event

By Dawn M Chiossi

    Spring, hop, jump. They are all different words conveying the same message; Get ready to get going. Now with the event of springtime on the horizon, with its various holidays approaching, there’s no better time to do so.

    There’s something about this time of year that calls to us: from seeing the first spring blossoms of crocus, daffodils, hyacinths, and lilies, to blooming trees, to the pastels of Easter eggs, to the utter joy on children’s faces at seeing the Easter Bunny, and baskets filled with chocolates and other goodies, there’s something rejuvenating about this time of the year. They can put a sparkle in the eyes of children or coax a smile out of the most stressed out and irritable of people.

     Surroundings transforms from winter white to pops of color. The world seems to explode into pinks, blues, purples, yellows, oranges, greens. People see it all over from the seasonal flowers to brightly colored jelly beans and candies. Where else but at Easter time can ordinary hard-boiled eggs be transformed into color-rich beautiful ones?

Traditionally, these spring holidays might be geared towards the little ones, but people of every age respond to the idea of casting aside winter doldrums for sunshine and springtime pursuits.

    Embracing the small town community feel of Denville, and supporting its citizens, business owners, and residents, Downtown Denville’s Business Improvement District (BID) is excited to celebrate their next festive event to share with the town.

    It’s all about ringing in the spring season and it’s various holidays. Easter, Passover or just celebrating the delights of nature and the season of Spring…it is a time of rebirth and rejuvenation. Moods turn lighter, more restless. People are itching to get outside, soak up the springtime.   

    Downtown Denville’s Business Improvement District’s annual spring event is ideal.  “Hop into Denville’s Annual Eggtravaganza” will now be called “Spring into Denville.”

    Even though it’s got a brand-new name, it still has the same delights it always had–just a little more inclusive. Taking place on Sat. April 20th, located in the heart of Downtown Denville, this festive event will be a veritable celebration of spring and its various holidays. Held from 11:00 to 1:00 p.m., everyone is invited.  

   Filled with fun and whimsy, this event is perfect for little ones and families from all over. There is no admission fee.

     Last year, the Easter event was so popular, there were approximately an impressive 500 people attending. They are hoping for even more people for this year’s turnout.    

     Taking pride in the quaint town of Denville and celebrating what it means to be Main Street America, the Denville Downtown Business Improvement District was founded in 2017 by downtown property owners. This nonprofit had one specific objective in mind; to provide promotional efforts, improvements and enhancements all around Downtown Denville to enhance the community.

    Through the creative and diligent efforts of dedicated and passionate members and volunteers, their mission is to embrace community spirit and spread cheer all over the town. By providing these efforts they seek to drive commerce, create economic opportunity that appeals to all residents, shoppers, business people and community members alike.    

    Their goal is to create a rich and vibrant downtown in which Denville can flourish. Denville offers an array of shops, restaurants and services for all to enjoy. Spring into Denville is only the latest in a whole calendar full of popular events that the Downtown Denville BID hosts.    

    “We wanted this event to be more inclusive, and more non-denominational,” explains Ryan Gleason, Executive Director for Downtown Denville Business Improvement District (BID). “Everyone can celebrate spring, but not everyone celebrates Easter per-se. By renaming the event, it’s something that everyone can enjoy and participate in.”  

     Warm and eager regarding this event and the Downtown Denville BID itself, Gleason has been involved with the organization for two years. In talking to him it is easy to see his enthusiasm in bringing enhancements to the town.

    “I have always admired Denville’s quaint downtown and strong sense of community,” he shares. “I jumped at the chance to help guide and develop the downtown in the future.”

    Part of that enhancements are the creative, festive celebrations that the Downtown Denville BID sponsors, and Spring into Denville is no exception. In the close-knit community of Denville, they are thrilled.   

    “When we took this event over from the Chamber of Commerce, it had been running for I don’t know how many years,” Gleason tells. “We wanted to keep the best things about it, while at the same time, making it bigger and better, more inclusive than it ever was before.”

    There will be flags, pageantry and much to enjoy, and Gleason is excited to announce that one of their biggest sponsors for this year’s event will be Lakeland Bank. For Gleason and the officials at Denville Downtown BID, Spring into Denville is about taking these much beloved traditions and enhancing them.

    For example, take the idea of a classic Easter Egg Hunt. Denville Downtown BID has an interesting take on the tradition, taking their cues from another childhood favorite holiday of Halloween.

    “Our Eggstravaganza is different, it’s like Halloween for Easter,” Gleason enthuses. He explains that instead of a standard egg hunt where groups of children are littered around a lawn or park, hunting for hidden eggs, and collecting them (where some children might not fare as well as others) Denville’s egg hunt is quite unique. Children will be able to go into various downtown businesses and receive the brightly colored plastic eggs from business owners. Inside they will be thrilled to find surprises such as store coupons, deals, goodies and chocolates, or treats of some kind.

    “Children can go from store to store receiving and collecting them much like they do when trick-or-treating,” Gleason remarks. “They can get the eggs, while their parents can browse in the stores, exploring, and perhaps do a little shopping.”   

     Gleason discloses that last year the event was so popular that they went through approximately 10,000 plastic eggs alone. So far, 30 to 40 businesses have signed up to participate in this year’s spring event already.  

    “Everyone just seems to love it, children, their parents, and the business owners,” Gleason enthuses. “It’s a win- win for everyone.”

   In addition, children and their parents will be elated to take photos with the costumed Easter Bunny, “Many children even dress up in their Easter best,” Gleason shares. “They are so eager to get started on the holiday.”

Spring into Denville will hold many various entertainments and amusements for the children to enjoy such as face painting, a magician, a balloon maker, and much more. To put attendees in the mood to celebrate, there will be an MC booth playing music off of a spring related playlist.

   As April is Autism Awareness month, Gleason is thrilled to include them in this year’s celebration. There will be tables set up featuring Autism charities, Denville’s own SPARK and Celebrate the Children School. “It’ll give everyone an opportunity to find out who they are and what they do, raising awareness to this important condition,” Gleason says. “We are so excited to bring them to this event this year.”

    The public has rallied around this lovely staple of the season. “People get such a big kick out of this celebration. they just love it.”

    Gleason mentions that in addition to seeing lots of familiar faces at the event, they will see many new ones as well. “There’s so much foot traffic in the downtown. People who are shopping, browsing around, eating at the restaurants. It’s great,” he relates. “It’s a wonderful way for everyone to enjoy and see what Denville has to offer.”

     When asked what his favorite thing is about the Spring into Denville event in particular, Gleason is both sentimental and practical.  “With all our events that we do we focus on different things. For example, our Lunar New Year Event focus on culture, learning about it, celebrating it. Spring into Denville is more about focusing on families and these family events,” he explains.  When sharing that his own family even often attends the Easter event, he says. “My favorite thing is seeing the faces of the kids and their parents, they are so happy.”

   No matter the event that the Downtown Denville BID puts on, the enthusiasm from everyone, vendors, retailers and attendees is infectious. Which brings Gleason to his second favorite thing as well, “Denville’s such a tight knit community, so supportive, where everyone helps each other out. An event like this is a wonderful way to give back as well.”

     What is Gleason hoping for most?

    “I’m hoping for a nice beautiful spring day so that folks will come out and enjoy without having to worry about the weather. It wouldn’t be Easter time without it.”    

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