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Local History Department - Photo of the Month

The Jam Steppers of Plainfield, July 4, 1996

The Jam Steppers of Plainfield pause along the parade route to do a step routine in the middle of Front Street during the Central Jersey Fourth of July Parade in Plainfield on July 4, 1996. Jeanette Lacks founded the Jam Steppers Drill Team of Plainfield in 1980 to build group discipline and strengthen individuals as well as team self esteem. According to a Courier News article, the team's first performance was for the city's Fourth of July parade. Their original name was the "Death Steppers" (jargon for "cool"), but after thrilling audience members with their intricate and energetic steps, the judges urged the team to change its name. So they became the Jam Steppers - meaning "energy, beat and the ability for the team to stick together like jelly." By the year 2000, they had expanded from 12 to more than 40 members!

Photo ID CN15648, part of the Courier News Photograph Archive.

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