NJ Hall of Fame induction ceremony tix going on sale; opening at American Dream planned

NJ hall of fame tix

Southside Johnny, left, and The Smithereens (from left, Dennis Diken, Jim Babjak, Pat DiNizio and Mike Mesaros) are among those who will be inducted into the New Jersey Hall of Fame on Oct. 27.

Tickets will go on sale Sept. 6 at 10 a.m. for the New Jersey Hall of Fame’s 11th annual induction ceremony, to be held Oct. 27 at the Paramount Theatre in Asbury Park. Visit Ticketmaster.com.

“It’s the same format as all years,” says Steven Edwards, president of the Hall of Fame Foundation’s board of trustees. “We’ll have a red carpet segment, then the program begins at 7 and will go on till at least 9:30. All the living inductees are planning on attending. We’ll have, in addition to them, at least 15 very high profile personalities.”

He said the Carl Gentry Band will be the house band, and The Smithereens are confirmed to perform. “We’re confident other big names will be performing that night as well,” he said. (See list of inductees below.)

Whoopi Goldberg hosted last year’s ceremony. The host of this year’s ceremony hasn’t been announced yet.

In a first, NJ.com will stream the ceremony live on its home page.

Meanwhile, the hall is making plans to open its permanent space at the American Dream Meadowlands retail and entertainment complex in East Rutherford. The hall plans to open the space at some point between December 2020 or late spring, 2021, though it will also have pop-up exhibits throughout the complex, and the first of those should be open by late spring 2020.

GARY GELLMAN

New Jersey Hall of Fame Foundation board president Steven Edwards.

There will ultimately be four pop-exhibits, Edwards said, “all in close proximity to the most popular entertainment attractions at the complex: The theme park, the water park, so on and so forth. And on top of that, four exhibits in our permanent museum will be there as well.”

Also, the hall will present programs in American Dream’s performing arts theater, which will seat around 1,500, Edwards said.

“Any successful museum has to have a robust slate of programs throughout the year,” he said. “There’ll be everything from Bruce Springsteen Day to Count Basie’s Birthday to ‘How Dionne Warwick Changed the World With Her Music,’ to Edison, Einstein.

“We’ll have programs throughout the year. We’ll have talks. We’ll have some of our authors signing autographs there. We’ll have future induction ceremonies there … not every year, but we’re shortly going to make that Ground Zero for a lot of what the Hall of Fame is doing.”

In another project, the hall has installed 300 posters and six hologram units at Newark Liberty International Airport, and banners at the Cheesequake Service Plaza on the Garden State Parkway. More posters will be installed at other Parkway and New Jersey Turnpike service areas. And Battleship New Jersey, docked on the Camden waterfront, is planning to install its own Hall of Fame exhibit, Edwards said.

The hall’s current capital campaign has raised about $10 million, Edwards said, and has the goal of raising $5 million more.

As far as future inductees, Edwards thinks the hall can continue to induct Garden Staters, at its current rate, for a long time.

“There’s no shortage,” he said. “We’re never going to run out of names, in our lifetime, of famous New Jerseyans to induct, who deserve induction.”

Here are this year’s inductees. Asterisks (*) denote those who are being inducted posthumously.

Performing Arts: Southside Johnny, The Smithereens, Jason Alexander

Arts & Letters: George R. R. Martin, Peter Benchley (*), Jerry Izenberg, Timothy White.

Enterprise: Martha Stewart, J. Fletcher Creamer Sr. (*), F.M. Kirby II (*), Tim McLoone, Arthur F. Ryan, Mary Roebling (*)

Public Service: Elizabeth Allen (*), Victor Parsonnet

Sports: Harry Carson, Anne Donovan (*), Laurie Hernandez, Bart Oates

For information, visit njhalloffame.org.

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