Somerset County Courthouse Grounds
20 N. Bridge St.
Somerville, NJ 08876
The Somerville Elks are proud to bring back to the community the annual Flag Day event in downtown Somerville.
The free, fun, family event includes a naturalization ceremony for new Somerset County U.S. residents, flag ceremonies, fire and rescue truck displays, historical reenactment demonstrations, a scavenger hunt, cornhole and bean toss tournaments, art displays from local artists and artisans, and a foot-stomping, country music concert performed by fiddling maestros, the E-Boro Bandits.
Sponsored by the Borough of Somerville, the naturalization of new Somerset County U.S residents will take place at 5 p.m.
Officers of Somerville Elks Lodge 1068, led by Leading Knight Kevin Storms, will conduct a special Flag Day flag ceremony at 5:45 p.m. to commemorate the 245th anniversary of the adoption of the Stars and Stripes as the flag of the United States on June 14, 1777. This historical flag ceremony has been a mandatory observance by every Elks lodge in the nation since 1911, which influenced Harry Truman, himself an Elk, to sign an Act of Congress in 1949 making Flag Day a permanent national observance. Somerville Mayor Dennis Sullivan will provide opening comments for the Flag Day celebration.
The program will include a Salute to Veterans led by former Somerville Mayor Brian Gallagher, where all military and veterans attending will be recognized for their service to the country.
New this year for the festival will be a charity cornhole tournament starting at 6 p.m. to benefit Operation Shoebox NJ . All ages are welcome. There will be a separate bean toss for children ages 6-12. Donations for the cornhole tournament are $10 and $5 for the bean toss. For more information and to register to play go to the Flag Day Festival Facebook page. All tournament winners will be announced on stage after the concert at 8:30 p.m.
Interactive exhibits and reenactors featuring the rich Somerset County history will be present. Learn about where the first 13-star American flag flew in 1777 just a few miles down the road from Somerville at the Middlebrook Encampment, about George Washington’s stay at the Wallace House in the winter of 1779, walking distance from the Festival, about all five preserved houses where Revolutionary War generals stayed, and so much more.
Multiple local troops from the Boy Scouts of America will be participating as reenactors, displaying historic American flags, and holding a merit badge class for Scouts to earn the American Heritage Merit Badge.
The public is encouraged to bring donation items to support our troops through Operation Shoebox NJ. Items in need include granola bars, beef jerky, cookies, crackers, trail mix, as well as razors, toothbrushes, toothpaste, shampoo, sun block and athletic socks.
The free country music concert featuring the E-Boro Bandits, including fiddle and pedal steel guitar accompaniment, begins at 7 p.m. The Flag Day Country Music Festival is part of the Somerville Elks’ commitment to their local communities through programs that help children grow up healthy and drug-free, by undertaking projects that address unmet needs and by honoring the service and sacrifice of our military and veterans.