It’s going to be a party!
Jersey City’s biggest street fair set for May 19
by E. Assata Wright
Reporter staff writer
May 03, 2012 | 5279 views | 0 0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
ALL’S FAIR – On Saturday, May 19 the Central Avenue Special Improvement District will host the fifth annual Everything Jersey City Festival on Central Avenue. Photo credits: Baldwin Yun
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Other special improvement districts would like to duplicate it, but there’s only one Everything Jersey City Festival, the annual “block party” that celebrates all things JC while bringing attention to the business community in the Jersey City Heights.

The fifth incarnation of the festival will take place on Saturday, May 19 on Central Avenue.

“This year we’ve put an emphasis on dance performances that represent the many cultures that we have here in Jersey City,” said Michael Yun, president of the Central Avenue Special Improvement District. “We started this last year, but it was on a smaller scale. This year we’re doing it again, but bigger. This year, we have more cultures represented.”

Hosted by the Central Avenue Special Improvement District – in conjunction with city leaders, Hudson County, the Jersey City Urban Enterprise Zone program, and various corporate sponsors – the Everything Jersey City Festival is a day-long family friendly street fair that celebrates the city and the many goods and services Central Avenue merchants have to offer.
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‘This year we’ve put an emphasis on dance performances that represent the many cultures that we have here in Jersey City.’ – Michael Yun
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But culture, and not just commerce, is a central focus of the event. This year festival-goers will be treated to performances by the Hope Center for the Performing Arts, 407 Moves, students from County Prep High School, Emerald Fire Dance School, the Haesun Jung Korean Traditional Dance Academy, and the Jersey City Children’s Theater. And, naturally, no dance showcase would be complete without a belly dancing demonstration.

Each year Everything Jersey City attracts crowds in the thousands and the festival has become the benchmark for community-oriented streets fairs in the city.

The festival, which will stretch along 10 blocks of Central Avenue, will feature over 200 vendors, including well-known artists and restaurants from Jersey City and Hudson County. There will be four stages for live performances that will feature music, dance, theater, and other free entertainment. Headlined by Afrobeat musician Chico Mann, the day’s musical line-up will include the jazz group the Manhattan Dolls, Rumba Con Son and Swing Sabroso, and will bring a little Latin flavor to the stage. The Celtic band McLean Avenue will make their Everything Jersey City debut. The Audiobodies, a local soul rock favorite, will be on hand, as will the punk sounds of Leah Le Grace and Go Falcon!. The acappella group Choice, Christine Santelli, and Woodfish will round out the concert line-up.

And since the festival celebrates everything Jersey City, expect to see ample representation from artists from the No Yo Mama’s Affairs and Uta Brauser’s Creative Grove network.

“I think it’s because we try to keep it a family event,” Yun said of the festival’s growing success. “You know, some street fairs [are such that] you don’t want to take your children or your parents. But we really make an effort to make Everything Jersey City a clean family event. I think that is why people come back…They have a good time.”

E-mail E. Assata Wright at awright@hudsonreporter.com.

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