There’s a little rest (stop) for Celia Cruz’s biggest fans…
The late Cuban musician, who died in 2003 in her Fort Lee, New Jersey home at the age of 77, is one of several of New Jersey’s most iconic figures getting their names on a Garden State Parkway rest stops.
The New Jersey Turnpike Authority approved naming nine Parkway service areas after luminaries, including Cruz, one of the most popular Latin artists of the 20th century.
Others getting their name on a rest stop include groundbreaking baseball player Larry Doby, rocker Jon Bon Jovi and late actor James Gandolfini.
It’s being done in conjunction with the New Jersey Hall of Fame, which has inducted more than 180 people since 2008 in fields such as science, sports and the arts.
The service areas will contain Hard Rock Cafe-style exhibits and artifacts, and an interactive Wall of Fame featuring a life-sized video monitor showcasing Hall of Fame inductees and their acceptance speeches, according to Gov. Phil Murphy’s office.
Murphy said it’s part of a larger effort to showcase local heroes in a variety of fields at locations around the state, including Battleship New Jersey, the New Jersey Turnpike and Newark Penn Station.
In addition to Cruz, Gandolfini, Doby and Bon Jovi, service areas will be named after broadcast journalist Connie Chung; Grammy-winning singer Whitney Houston; Nobel Prize-winning author Toni Morrison; author Judy Blume; and perhaps New Jersey’s most famous native son, Frank Sinatra.