One of the issues when researching setting, events, or even the attributes for a character is finding a source. Which often can mean finding someone to talk. Historical societies can be a font of information. And not just dates and events, but town personalities as well.
Special events and anniversaries provide a unique view into the past of an area. And the way an event is commemorated (or not) provides insight as well. An advantage is that at anniversary events such as the one October 4th celebrating 100 years of community service by the Woman's Club of Matawan memories are at the forefront.
And at happy occasions, people are often more willing to talk.
Happy researching.~Till next time. Helen