Pinkster Fest: A Colonial Celebration of Spring

Bergen County Historical Society’s “Pinkster,” a Colonial celebration of summer’s arrival at Historic New Bridge Landing,  River Edge.classic boats on the Hackensack River

Benjamin Donson with his son Julio Valle  and Jim Norman met me in Hackensack’s Johnson Park.  Ben and Julio paddled Jim’s wooden kayak and Jim paddles his replica 1800s solo canoe. Andy Anderson rowed down in his replica rowing dingy. All are similar to boats that would have been used on the Hackensack many years ago.

Jim actually offers help building wooden boats for anyone interested. Contact him thru his website, jimnormanart.com .

For anyone looking to emulate our trip, be sure to check out my guide on how to paddle the Hackensack.

We arrived at New Bridge Landing where we were allowed to land on the New Bridge Landing side. The New Bridge Landing (west) side of the river has long been posted ‘No fishing, dumping or boat launching.’ I reached out to the Bergen County Historical Society, which responded that the had posted it due to littering, abuse of the historic wharf including motor boat launching and even chemical truck dumping. According to Mike Trepicchio of the Bergen County Historic Society,  ‘We have been protecting and preserving the landing as well as the River since 1944, Frank Koehler, a long time past president of the BCHS is credited as being the first Hackensack riverkeeper, as well as steward of New Bridge. We keep his tradition alive, by respecting the Landing and keeping abusive uses from the River. If the use is compatible with our mission of protection and preservation and permission is requested and granted, we welcome the company.’

Pinkster

Pinkster at New Bridge Photo by Tom Hart
Pinkster at New Bridge Photo by Tom Hart
 Andy Anderson in his replica rowing dingy  similar to boats that would have been used on the Hackensack many years ago in front of the 19th century swing bridge.
Andy Anderson in his replica rowing dingy similar to boats that would have been used on the Hackensack many years ago in front of the 19th century swing bridge.
Ben Donson with his son Julio Valle in his stepfather's wooden kayak. Jim Norman in his replica 1800s solo canoe and Andy Anderson in his replica rowing dingy. All are similar to boats that would have been used on the Hackensack many years ago.
Ben Donson with his son Julio Valle in his stepfather's wooden kayak. Jim Norman in his replica 1800s solo canoe and Andy Anderson in his replica rowing dingy. All are similar to boats that would have been used on the Hackensack many years ago.
Bob Willis of sunrisetradingpost.com tending his sultlery on the the Van Stueben House steps with hundreds of authentic and replica colonial era pieces.
Bob Willis of sunrisetradingpost.com tending his sultlery on the the Van Stueben House steps with hundreds of authentic and replica colonial era pieces.
Julio Valle not very impessed by a dead eel at New Bridge Landing.
Julio Valle not very impessed by a dead eel at New Bridge Landing.
Richard Dansak and his daughter Caroline  in front of the Demerest House.
Richard Dansak and his daughter Caroline in front of the Demerest House.
Andy Anderson checks out the original colonial flag shown by Arthur Greene ( a distant relative of Colonial General Nathenial Greene). The flag is the earliest known Continental flag in front of the Demerest house. Arthur said that the Betsey Ross flag with the stars in a circle did not exist.
Andy Anderson checks out the original colonial flag shown by Arthur Greene ( a distant relative of Colonial General Nathenial Greene). The flag is the earliest known Continental flag in front of the Demerest house. Arthur said that the Betsey Ross flag with the stars in a circle did not exist.
 Dancing next to the Campbell-Christie House in front tof the hess station.
Dancing next to the Campbell-Christie House in front tof the hess station.
Bonnet fixing.
Bonnet fixing.
Outwater Militia doing maneuvers on the lawn in front of the Demerest house.
Outwater Militia doing maneuvers on the lawn in front of the Demerest house.
Outwater Militia presenting the Bergen County Historical Society with a $1000 check for the museum & library building. Michele Dansak, George Skic, deputy commander of the Outwater Militia, Mike Trepicchio of the BCHS accepting the check, Richard Dansak, Jim Smith and Richard and Michele's daughters Meredith and Caroline
Outwater Militia presenting the Bergen County Historical Society with a $1000 check for the museum & library building. Michele Dansak, George Skic, deputy commander of the Outwater Militia, Mike Trepicchio of the BCHS accepting the check, Richard Dansak, Jim Smith and Richard and Michele's daughters Meredith and Caroline
Bergen County Historical Society thanking Outwater Militia for the with a $1000 check for the museum & library building. Mike Trepicchio of the BCHS thanking Jim Smith with Richard Dansak between them.
Bergen County Historical Society thanking Outwater Militia for the with a $1000 check for the museum & library building. Mike Trepicchio of the BCHS thanking Jim Smith with Richard Dansak between them.
George Skic, deputy commander of the Outwater Militia, Deborah Powell, past president of the  BCHS   Jim Smith aof the Outwater Militia.
George Skic, deputy commander of the Outwater Militia, Deborah Powell, past president of the BCHS Jim Smith aof the Outwater Militia.
Richard Dansak and his daughter Caroline  in front of the Cambell Christie house (and the hess station).
Richard Dansak and his daughter Caroline in front of the Cambell Christie house (and the hess station).
Been a wet summer.
Been a wet summer.
 Colonial children returning from a not very colonial food run to McDonalds.   Photos by TOM HART/  FREELANCE PHOTOGRAPHER
Colonial children returning from a not very colonial food run to McDonalds. Photos by TOM HART/ FREELANCE PHOTOGRAPHER
Asha Shetler and Natalie Francesco of  Glen Rock,
Asha Shetler and Natalie Francesco of Glen Rock,
Pinkster at New Bridge Photo by Tom Hart
Pinkster at New Bridge Photo by Tom Hart
Pinkster at New Bridge Photo by Tom Hart
Pinkster at New Bridge Photo by Tom Hart
Pinkster at New Bridge Photo by Tom Hart
Pinkster at New Bridge Photo by Tom Hart
Pinkster at New Bridge Photo by Tom Hart
Pinkster at New Bridge Photo by Tom Hart
Pinkster at New Bridge Photo by Tom Hart
Pinkster at New Bridge Photo by Tom Hart
Pinkster at New Bridge Photo by Tom Hart
Pinkster at New Bridge Photo by Tom Hart

 

Event ran from 1 to 5 p.m. on Sunday, May 22. Pinkster is the Dutch name for Whitsunday or Pentecost, when a flower-crowned May Queen and King led merry-makers from door-to-door, gathering dyed eggs, butter, bread, cream, coffee, sugar, and tallow candles in baskets for a festive supper and dance. Toasts with buttermilk, known as “white wine,” and recital of the Pinkster Ode welcomed the return of summer. The name of the holiday derives from the Greek word, Pentecost, meaning “50th day,” which originally signified the ancient Jewish celebration of the first fruits of the harvest, arriving seven weeks after Passover. On the seventh Sunday after Easter, Christians commemorate the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles. The English identified this holiday with the white garments of baptismal candidates, calling it Whitsunday or “White Sunday.” Among the Jersey Dutch, a rose-colored Azalea blossom, known as the “Pinxter blomachee,” was the May bush.More info on the event from the Bergen County Historical Society

About Tom Hart

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