Saturday, July 14th not only will mark the date of the second annual Jefferson Fest – Food Truck Festival, Concert, and Fireworks event but also the date of the 14th annual Irish Road Bowling Contest.
Originally started by Jack Kelly, then President of the Jefferson Arts Committee, and taken over by Tom Hantson and most recently by George Damerel, this contest has grown into an exciting event associated with Jefferson’s annual township celebration sponsored by The Township of Jefferson and The Jefferson Arts Committee. Last year, all the teams who competed had a fantastic time!
For those not familiar with the game, the alley is a country road approximately one mile long, and it is not officially closed; and for this event, the Arts Committee is allowed to use Catholic Charities Way off Weldon Road, the home of Wiegand Farms at the Department for Persons with Disabilities facility. No improvements are made to the road; and the road is played “as is” – uphill, downhill, and winding, and there are no bumpers along the edge of the roadway on either side. There is no stopping the ball when it moves so players have to also watch out for rocks and holes.
The “bowl” used is small, black and dense about the size of a baseball but six times as heavy weighing 1 lb. 12 oz. The bowler is allowed to throw it however he/she sees fit, but the most common approach is basically an underhand fast-pitch softball throw with a running start. Team members throw the ball in rotation, and the team who takes the least number of throws to complete the course (similar to scoring for golf) is declared the winner.
Now it’s your turn to try your hand at Irish Road Bowling by gathering together a team of four players, filling out a registration form which can be found at and mailing it to the Arts Committee with your $10 entry fee no later than July 8. Prizes will be awarded to the first, second, and third place teams. Info: George Damerel at 973-697-8898 or
Will last year’s winners be back to defend their titles? You’ll have to be there to find out as a participant or as a spectator.
Visit the Jefferson Arts Committee on Facebook and at for more information on Jefferson Fest which starts at 5 pm on the fields of the Jefferson Township High School, 1010 Weldon Road, Milton/Oak Ridge.
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