Thursday night was a warm summer evening, but not so stiflingly hot as on Wednesday. And Friday's predicted showers were off in the future.
Instead, classical music, fine food and socializing made Music at Moorland in Far Hills a perfect evening for many hundreds of music lovers, and — perhaps just as much — for those who wanted the thrill of watching a great fireworks show.
The 11th annual event again featured the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra and fireworks by the world-famous Grucci family of Long Island.
"The best part is the hospital [Somerset Medical Center] gets the funds to expand and do good," said Fritz Mueller of Far Hills, who was one of the first co-chairmen of the event when it launched.
The night out is also fun, he added.
Mueller credits Guy Torsilieri of Whitehouse Station with coming up with the idea of joining music and fireworks to make the night sparkle.
Torsilieri, co-chairman of Music at Moorland and October's steeplechase races, held at the same location in Far Hills, said he believes the event gets better every year.
Even in the heat, Torsilieri — checking the sound system and attending to many other details before the symphony took the stage — said that he was expecting the summery night to be "perfect" once by sundown.
Not everyone sits in one of the tents erected by guests and major supporters of the Somerset Medical Center Foundation or also Sanofi US from Bridgewater, longtime presenter of the event.
Although he himself was sitting in Somerset Medical Center tent, Edward Harnett of Basking Ridge — board member on the medical center's foundation — said Music at Moorland was planned to be "family focused. We encourage families to come out to enjoy a relaxing evening."
While some sipped champagne or sat at tables at catered affairs, others spread picnic meals, brought lawn chairs and let their kids (tickets are $30 for adults, but free for those under 14) run around playing games on the grassy slope set aside for general admission tickets. Sandals and bare feet were the main footwear of choice.
Among those who were picnicing, with children and guests from Germany, were the Williamson family of Basking Ridge, one of those who brought along a bright umbrella to provide shade against the sun, still up and strong when gates opened at 5:30 p.m.
"It's a glorious night," said Bedminster Mayor Robert Holtaway with a smile, as he and his wife Diane, carried lawn chairs to find a spot on the field.
The mayor said he and his wife come to the event every year. Asked what he likes especially, Holtaway said with a smile, "The fireworks alone are worth the price of admission."
"And the music..." his wife added.
Holtaway said he also likes the music, but as for his prediliction for the explosions that can be heard throughout the area, even in other towns such as southern Bernards Township once the Grucci fireworks begin at about 9:30 p.m.: "It's a guy thing."
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