Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Kicking off County Fair?

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Kicking off County Fair?

Article excerpt

It's a little bit of Texas in Bergen County.

Bergen County Parks and Recreation director Ron Kistner announced plans this week to host the Bergen Catholic-Don Bosco football game at Overpeck Park and make it the centerpiece of a three-day Bergen County fair in October.

"My whole idea is like the Oklahoma-Texas [college football] game, which happens in the middle of the Texas state fair," Kistner said. "We have two national championship-caliber teams here. We can get a great crowd. It should be a great game."

Kistner said the game is certainly on and he is seeking corporate sponsors to underwrite the fair, so that it doesn't cost the county any money and said the idea has the backing of county executive Kathleen Donovan.

His plan is to have a carnival in the new Overpeck Park section in Ridgefield Park starting Thursday night, Oct. 25. The football game would kick off Saturday afternoon in the adjacent Palisades Park Sports Complex, and Kistner is looking to end the fair with a country music concert Saturday night.

"This is my passion," said Kistner, who has had the job since April. "I love kids and sports, and this is the perfect area to do this. We have athletes striving to be the best in the country."

Bergen Catholic and Don Bosco have become two of the premier high school football programs in the nation. The Ironmen have won two of the last three mythical national championships and own a 46-game winning streak.

This year's game was scheduled to be at Bergen Catholic, but with the crowds for each meeting -- and national media attention -- swelling, the facility on the Oradell campus struggles to handle the demand.

"Personally, I am a little bit torn [about moving the game from Oradell]," Bergen Catholic athletic director Jack McGovern said. "I know the kids love playing at home, but having hosted this game two years ago and understanding the logistics, it doesn't seem fair to all the people who would like to see the game in our venue. …

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