mtown-day-500x375That’s one giant step for Middletown, as the Moon-bounces are inflated for a Middletown Day celebration that caps the township’s 350th birthday year. (File photo by Dustin Racioppi)

When the annual Middletown Day celebration returns to the township’s Croydon Hall facility on Leonardville Road this Saturday, September 27, it will arrive with the tried and true trappings: touch-a-truck and petting zoo; food and craft vendors; live rock music and rock-climb walls; hayrides and flea market; soccer shoot-outs and bounce-house activities for the kiddies.

What makes the 2014 edition of the local-favorite fall festival truly special is that it represents the final event in the township’s Middletown 350 observance, a year-long slate of special events that began at the 2013 edition of Middletown Day — reinforcing the fact that Monmouth County’s largest municipality can trace its birthday back as far as the entire State of New Jersey.

Adding extra excitement to the 2014 event will be a couple of extended codas to the rain-or-shine, noon to 6 pm activities. A free concert by The Beatlemania Stage Show — featuring Middletown’s own Lucien Nocelli as John — will take place between 6 and 7:30 pm on the football field of the Croydon complex, HQ of the township’s Department of Parks and Recreation. Middletown 350 is given a slam-bang sendoff with a fireworks display at 7:30 — probably the last pyrotechnics show you’ll see this season — sponsored by Ice World.

Take it here for complete details — including a map of the festival grounds, entertainment schedule, vendor listing and information on shuttle buses running from off-site parking areas.