5th Annual Everything Jersey City Festival Set for Saturday

Local cultural celebration Everything Jersey City Festival is set to hit the streets for its fifth straight year when dance, music, and local crafts and food vendors takeover the Central Ave shopping district (rain or shine) this Saturday, May 19th, from 11am to 6pm.

The event, which is hosted by the Central Avenue Special Improvement District,
says residents can look to dance performance to take center stage this year, with performances by the Haesun Jung Korean Traditional Dance Academy, Emerald Fire Dance, The Hope Center for the Performing Arts, 407 Moves from County Prep High School.

There will also be live theater performed by the Jersey City Children’s Theater, belly dancing, a mariachi band and two fashion shows.

“The Festival plants good, positive memories of their hometown in our children and helps strengthen the bonds of community pride and harmony,” Festival Committee Chairman Michael Yun said in a statement.

A new addition this year will be Field Station: Dinosaurs, which consists of two life-sized animatronic dinosaurs (some of the largest ever created).

Since the festival’s inception in 2007, 80 new businesses have come to the area, and Everything Jersey City will offer one-day sales with discounts ranging from 10-50%-off on select merchandise, sidewalk sales and special promotions.

Ward D Councilman Bill Gaughan, who for its five years has worked as the Festival Finance Committee Co-Chair, added, “I look forward to another tremendously successful Everything Jersey City Festival. Being part of the Central Avenue Special Improvement District for the past 20 years has given me a lot of great memories and I must give a heartfelt thank you to all who have helped develop what we call ‘Heights Pride’.”

With more than forty different performances taking place between the Festival’s four stages, attendees can expect music ranging from headlining act (and Jersey City-native) Chico Mann’s Afrobeat to the Latin-influenced Rumba Con Son and Swing Sabroso. Celtic band McLean Avenue will play their first Festival, as will Jersey rockers Outside the Box and Jersey City’s own The
Audiobodies. Previous festival goers may recognized teenage pop-punk star Leah Le Grace, funksters Woodfish, and pop-punkers Go Falcon!. Jersey City-based singer-songwriter Christine Santelli, Jersey City a-cappella group Choice, and The Manhattan Dolls, will be on hand as well.

Performer Chico Mann said, “I’m very excited to be playing in Jersey City. It’s not often that the opportunity arises so I can’t wait to share this music on our side of the river!”

“This is the third year that the Jersey City Parks Coalition will be participating in Everything Jersey City Festival,” said Heights resident and 2012 Pride and Harmony Award Honoree Laura Skolar. “As a parks and open space advocacy organization the festival is a great opportunity for us to meet and connect with our neighbors from across the City.”

For more information, performer schedules and a full list of the Everything Jersey City Festival sponsors, supporters and performers visit JCHeights.com.

Photo: Irene Borngraeber

Matt Hunger

is a former staff writer for the Jersey City Independent.