It’s September and that means that U.S. 1 reporters and freelancers take to the highway for our annual survey of rush hour traffic. For nearly 20 years now we have been driving the same stretch of highway — Route 1 from Franklin Corner Road at the south to Raymond Road to the north — at the same time of year: usually the third week of September, after Princeton University resumes classes and before the Jewish holidays.

This year that window was last week, September 19 to 21, and we drove and drove and drove. So where are the results? Not in this issue, as it turns out. But they will appear soon, in the issue of Wednesday, October 11.

For this issue, the Greater Princeton Chamber of Commerce’s business to business Trade Fair has taken priority. The trade show comes at a new time this year. In past years it was before Labor Day, and then it moved to early September — it was well out of the way before the traffic issue. This year, however, it is scheduled for Friday, October 6, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Westin hotel in Princeton Forrestal Village.

So beginning on page 12 of this issue you will find listings of all the exhibitors scheduled to be there, plus lots of additional information about them, plus profiles of the two trade show celebrities — the new CEO of the Chamber, Karen Colimore, and the CEO of the commerce commission and the keynote speaker at the Trade Fair, Virginia Bauer.

On page 32 read about the winner of our own U.S. 1 Battle of the Bands — Thursday Night Jazz — who will provide the live entertainment at our second annual U.S. 1 Breakdown Party, which runs from 3 to 5 p.m., at the trade fair at the Westin. The breakdown party is a fun, let’s-relax-after-the-trade-fair event with great music, gourmet food tastings, and a cash bar. It is free and open to the public.

We’re excited to have Thursday Night Jazz joining us this year. The trio — 14-year-old high school freshmen — knocked the socks off the 160 patrons of a posh fundraiser held in Princeton for the Mercer Alliance to End Homelessness last weekend. Guests walked into the Snowden Lane garden of publishing executive Tim Andrews to find what looked like a band of high schoolers who turned out to be immensely talented, a truly sophisticated jazz trio.

Shirley Tilghman, president of Princeton University, and Doug Palmer, mayor of Trenton, were among those who marveled at how they played with the elan of musicians years their senior. (Tilghman and Palmer were the recipients of awards from the alliance, along with Governor Jon Corzine and Stephanie Wolcott of Tyco.)

The chamber’s trade show is “business to business,” but another kind of convention is set for Saturday, September 30. It has less to do with business and more to do with relieving the stress of business.

Michele Engoran of the Center for Relaxation and Healing in Plainsboro has organized a “Natural Living Expo: Mind, Body and Spirit” at the Premiere Hotel, 4355 Route 1, Princeton. Cost: $10. It features 45 vendors with products and services including feng shui, Chinese herbal medicine, and nutrition and wellness products. In Survival Guide, Engoran tells how to put on an expo (page 9).

If you just can’t wait to get the results of the traffic survey, we’ll give you a hint: It’s worse. You’d think you could predict that, but no, some years it actually improves. This year, however, the afternoon southbound run was significantly slower. We will use the time between now and October 11 to try to find out why.

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Listings for the trade show start on 12. If your business is participating in the trade show, please confirm your listing. We have checked and cross checked the information with our files, and we think we are accurate, but errors can occur. If there is an error, call 609-452-7000 x 301 or email bfox@princetoninfo.com.

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