May in Montclair

Festival Committee

Honorary Chairman - Mayor Robert Jackson
Chair – Karen Shinevar
Vice Chair – Cyndee Rowan
Treasurer – Gene Bloch
Calendar of Events – Joan Bloch
Tulip Project Chair – Celia Radek
Webmaster – Frank Louvis, Coastal Marketing Technologies
Restaurant Listing Editor – Jane Wenger
Opening Day Ceremony – Karen Shinevar
Tulip Project Committee -- Celia Radek, Cyndee Rowan, Peter Giuffra, Rob Bianco

In Memory of Jean Kidd and Betty Dallery:
Their Dedication and Vision Live On Through the Tulips!

May in Montclair is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization. Thanks so much to the generous contribution of so many donors!

A project supported by The Montclair Foundation

This festival, celebrating the beauty and vitality of Montclair, could not have been made possible without the volunteer efforts of dedicated community members. We welcome your participation. Contact Karen Shinevar at or Cyndee Rowan at

Tulips at Edgemont Memorial Park

May In Montclair is a celebration of the physical beauty and the indomitable community spirit of Montclair. It is a month-long festival of art shows, concerts, garden tours, health and exercise programs, fairs and markets presented to make people feel good about living, working, shopping, and spending leisure time as they celebrate the spirit that is Montclair.

To that end, the May In Montclair Committee oversees the fall planting of thousands of tulip bulbs, which bloom at the beginning of May, and publishes a Calendar of Events which lists hundreds of activities that bring our community together in fun and fellowship.

The first May In Montclair Calendar of Events came out in 1979, with a forward by then-Mayor Grant Gille:

"This first "May In Montclair" celebrates, in a systematic way, much of what has long been a part of our community's quality of life. The aesthetic appearance of our community is probably never more beautiful than at this time of year…."

Each fall, the Tulip Project Committee purchases and distributes almost 20,000 Holland tulip bulbs to the Township Community Service Department and volunteers from gardening groups, park conservancies, houses of worship and business districts, who plant them so that the whole town can enjoy them when they bloom in the spring. The Tulip Project is made possible by contributions from local citizens, who can have their names published in the annual Calendar of Events book.

Traditionally, May In Montclair starts with the blooming of these tulips and ends with the spectacular array of iris, particularly at the Presby Memorial Iris Garden. On May 1st, grammar school students descend on Watchung Plaza for a Maypole dance and musical performances. At the end of the month, Memorial Day ceremonies take place at the War Memorial in Edgemont Park. And all during the month of May, local organizations host events that bring thousands of visitors to our town.

These events are listed in the annual Calendar of Events, which is made possible through advertising from local businesses and not-for-profit associations, many of whom have supported this effort for over thirty years. The book's cover displays "tulip-themed" art work; local artists are invited to submit entries from which the Committee chooses a favorite. The books are distributed in libraries, post-offices, stores and offices throughout town.

The work of the May In Montclair Committee could not be done without the dedicated efforts of community volunteers. Their work is a labor of love for Montclair.

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Tulip Project

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From Karen Shinevar, May in Montclair Committee Chair

The interconnectedness of a community reveals itself in many ways. Maybe the most important to me is local traditions. Montclair roots for its school teams. We have education and art for all ages. We have internationally acclaimed gardens. We serve and provide food to those of us in need. It’s who we are and what we do.

As a widow I selected Montclair for the next leg of my life's journey when my sons left for college. I wanted a walkable community with rich opportunities to contribute and collaborate with a diverse group of dedicated and caring people. In just three short years my choice of communities has lived up to its billing. The level of community activism warms my heart. We talk openly about what we want our town to be.  The love Montclairians have for their town is also borne out in the plentiful contributions of time and money to cherished traditions.

I am proud to be part of one of those, now in its 40th year: "May in Montclair". Betty Dallery, who died in 2013 at age 106, founded the project in 1979. A simple idea, really. People and businesses give a few dollars and buy over 20,000 tulip bulbs. They are given to parks, churches, and schools to plant in November for a May bloom. The Montclair Art Museum alone gets over 600 bulbs. Also, a free Calendar of Events book is published and distributed in April all across Montclair Township. Nonprofit groups are invited to submit their May events and volunteers sell advertising to businesses to defray costs. Our calendar contains over 100 events, an updated list of local restaurants, lists of summer town recreational events, a list of tulip sponsors, and highlights supporting businesses.

Be a part of next spring’s local beauty and connect with Montclair's May celebration by submitting your non-profit event, making a donation for tulip bulbs, or buying an ad. Or why not publish a picture of your own beautiful garden? Our ad prices start at $80 and bring your organization high visibility as we distribute over 10,000 copies. We hope you will visit or contact me at to be part of the beauty that is May in Montclair.