Outside of Celia Cruz Service Area in Forked River, NJ

Part of Effort to Dedicate All Nine Service Areas After New Jersey Icons

Comes as Displays Are Unveiled at New York Penn Station and Newark Liberty International Airport

NEWARK (October 18, 2022) – The Garden State Parkway just got a little sweeter.

The Forked River Service Area was officially dedicated to salsa legend and 2013 New Jersey Hall of Fame inductee Celia Cruz. Known for her catch phrase “¡Azúcar!” which means sugar, the Cuban American singer is honored at the rest stop for her significant contributions to music.

“We are pleased to officially dedicate the Celia Cruz Service Area,” said New Jersey Hall of Fame Chairman Jon F. Hanson. “We thank the Murphy Administration and the New Jersey Turnpike Authority for their help in making this happen.”

This is part of an effort to dedicate all nine Garden State Parkway service areas to New Jersey icons inducted into the New Jersey Hall of Fame (NJHOF).

The service area features a timeline of the Grammy-award winner’s illustrious 60-year career, as well as a “Wall of Fame” which includes pictures of the “Queen of Salsa” throughout her life and career. Included in this display are personal artifacts including a pair of shoes made especially for Cruz by Willie’s of Hollywood, a multi-colored sequin stage costume worn by Cruz at various concerts in the 1990s, and a silk and rhinestone encrusted turban with a ponytail hair piece.

“We are thrilled to see this project launched and we support the New Jersey Hall of Fame’s mission to honor our great state and its exceptional citizens who have contributed so much to the world,’’ said Robert C. Garrett, CEO of Hackensack Meridian Health, lead sponsor of the NJHOF.

Like the rest of the service areas, this stop will also feature other New Jersey Hall of Fame inductees. The Celia Cruz Service Area will feature inductees specifically related to the category of Public Service, including General Norman Schwarzkopf, Buzz Aldrin, and Clara Barton.

“The New Jersey Hall of Fame’s mission is to celebrate the wide-ranging talent within the great state of New Jersey,” said Hall of Fame President Steve Edwards.

“We hope this exhibition helps inspire the next generation of leaders and citizens.”

The Parkway renovation is part of the Hall of Fame’s statewide network of exhibits and poster installations, including recent displays at New York Penn Station and Immigration Hall at Terminal B in Newark Liberty International Airport. The exhibits feature pictures and inspirational quotes from inductees. They were done in partnership with NJ Transit and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

ABOUT THE NJHOF: Because everyone needs a hero, the New Jersey Hall of Fame (NJHOF) honors citizens who have made invaluable contributions to society, the State of New Jersey and the world beyond. Since 2008, the NJHOF has hosted 13 ceremonies for more than 200 notable individuals and groups in recognition of their induction into the Hall of Fame. The NJHOF endeavors to present school children with significant and impactful role models to show that they can, and should, strive for excellence. The NJHOF is thankful for the support of its many sponsors, without which none of our endeavors would be possible. For more information, go to www.njhalloffame.org.


Natasha Alagarasan
New Jersey Hall of Fame
(609) 789-7818