Blankets, sippy cups, and rock & roll
Family Fun Night brings out the star in local kids
by Carlo Davis
Reporter staff writer
Aug 03, 2014 | 1488 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
KIDS
GOOD TURNOUT – Michi Egger, who led the sing-along at Tuesday’s Family Fun Night, said turnout has grown since the previous year.
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How do you ensure that an energetic 3 year-old will fall asleep at bedtime? It’s simple: take him or her to Family Fun Night at Shipyard Park in Hoboken. After an hour of dancing, singing, picnicking, and playing with friends, your toddler will be so spent you may need to carry him home.

Even the timing is perfect. Family Fun Night takes place on Tuesday nights during the summer from 7 to 8 p.m., finishing just in time for sundown and a good night’s sleep. The program is free to the public and sponsored by Mayor Dawn Zimmer and the Hoboken City Council as well as Applied Development Company, which manages several residential buildings in the area.
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“The kids just love to be on the stage.”—Geri Fallo
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At this past Tuesday’s fun night, a group sing-along was led by the Garden Street Band, featuring Dan McLoughlin on bass, Paolo Cantarella on the drums, and Michi Egger as guitarist and lead singer. All three are staff members at the nearby Garden Street School of the Performing Arts. The school offers lessons in singing, acting, dance and various instruments for both children and adults. It also runs a full recording studio.

On Tuesday, the songs ranged from childhood classics like “Wheels on the Bus” and “Itsy Bitsy Spider” to recent pop hits like Pharrell Williams’ “Happy” and Katy Perry’s “Roar.”

Eight-year-old Georgia Brewer, who also sang with the band, wowed the crowd with a powerful rendition of “Let It Go” from Disney’s Frozen. Brewer is no stranger to owning a stage, having performed in the past in the Hoboken Children’s Theatre productions of “Annie” and “Winnie the Pooh.”

A decades-old summer tradition

Hoboken Director of Cultural Affairs Geri Fallo, who has organized the family nights for the past 20 years, said most of this year’s Family Fun Nights revolve around singing groups. The only non-singing group so far has been The Hey Ya Brothers, a Hoboken-based two-man slapstick comedy team.

The hardest part, she said, is making sure the sound cords don’t get pulled out due to excessive dancing.

“The kids just love to be on the stage,” said Fallo.

Egger said she saw many of the students she teaches in music classes at the Fun Night. This is her second year performing in the series, and she reported an uptick in attendance.

Egger is a resident of Jersey City and an accomplished performer in her own right, having just released her fourth studio album, “Castles in the Air.” Her own personal style, which is more John Mayer than Katy Perry, will be on display at a performance at Northern Soul Bar in Hoboken this Thursday, Aug. 7, at 9 p.m.

Family Fun Nights are just one of the many summer activities offered in Hoboken. On Wednesday nights from June 11 to Aug. 20, the city hosts a “Movie Under the Stars” in Pier A Park. This week’s offering, the kid-friendly Despicable Me 2, will be preceded by a performance by Preschool of Rock.

The city also holds concerts in Sinatra Park on Thursdays. On Aug. 8, Davey & the Trainwreck and Nipsey, two local bands, will perform at 7 p.m. For more information about Hoboken’s summer offerings, visit www.hobokennj.org.

Carlo Davis may be reached at cdavis@hudsonreporter.com.

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