Festival at Exchange Place features Pitbull

JC announces the headliners for the 6th Annual Fourth of July festival

Rapper Pittbull will headline Jersey City's Fourth of July Festival.
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Rapper Pittbull will headline Jersey City's Fourth of July Festival.

Pitbull and Akon will perform as this year’s headliners at Jersey City’s 6th annual Fourth of July Festival. The long-awaited announcement came about a week before the event was to take place.

A full day of festivities will take place from noon to 10 p.m. at the Exchange Place Plaza. The free festival includes live entertainment, with featured musicians starting at noon on the main stage, climaxing with Jersey City’s own Akon and world-renowned rapper Pitbull as the main event.

The grand finale will follow, with New Jersey’s largest fireworks display launched from barges in the Hudson River against the unparalleled backdrop of the Manhattan skyline.

“We set the bar high last year, bringing in Snoop Dogg as our headline performance, and we expect to impress, yet again, with this year’s entertainment lineup,” said Mayor Steven Fulop. “The headline performance and fireworks conclude a day of fun for thousands of families and visitors who come from all over the tri-state area. As we show off all that Jersey City has to offer this Independence Day, I am confident this will continue to be one of the best celebrations in the nation.”

Fireworks on this side of the Hudson

The city first moved the fireworks from Liberty State Park to Exchange Place three years ago after then-Gov. Christopher Christie famously closed state parks in a budget dispute with the state legislature. The change proved so successful that the city made it permanent.

In 2017, the event drew over 100,000 spectators from throughout the city and region. Last year, with Snoop Dogg as headliner, the event topped 150,000 guests.

The daylong festival features designated zones for activities, including a carnival along Hudson Street, the “Love Beer Festival” on Columbus, and the concert stage at Exchange Place. Fun activities and additional food trucks and drinks can also be found along Montgomery Street.

The celebration will close with a grand finale featuring New Jersey’s largest fireworks display. Grucci, who will operate the fireworks display, is a sixth-generation, family-owned and operated fireworks company that has developed a prominent reputation, having performed at eight U.S. presidential inaugurations, Olympic Games, World’s Fairs and earned the Guinness World Record for “largest fireworks display” ever recorded.

Anyone attending the event is strongly encouraged to arrive by foot, bike, or public transportation to Exchange Place, because parking will be extremely limited, and parking in the surrounding neighborhoods will be reserved for area residents. Public parking will be available at all three Newport Mall garages at a $15 flat rate for vehicles entering after 5 p.m.

The nearest PATH train station stop is located right in Exchange Place, for easy access from Hoboken, New York City, Newark, and beyond. NJ TRANSIT’s Hudson-Bergen Light Rail (HBLR) will be running North only from the Harborside stop on Hudson Street, and South only from the Essex Street stop on Hudson and Essex in Paulus Hook.

For both options, customers are strongly encouraged to buy round trip tickets from ticket vending machines in advance of the fireworks event. Guests utilizing the PATH or Light Rail, should check for holiday schedules and alerts here: http://www.panynj.gov/path.

This year, BikeJC will provide free bike valet service for all attendees who arrive on two wheels from noon to 10 p.m. in front of the post office on the Washington Street. Residents without bikes may also rent through Citi Bike, which has several stations located in the festival area, including at Harborside, at the end of Sussex Street, and on Washington and Grand.

The Citi Bike station location at Exchange Place will not be operating on July 4th.

NY Waterway ferries will be in operation from NYC to the terminals at both Paulus Hook and Harborside until 4 p.m. For more information, please visit http://www.nywaterway.com/.

NJ Transit buses stop at locations throughout Jersey City and the surrounding region, including major transportation hubs like Newark’s Penn Station, Hoboken, Secaucus and New York’s Port Authority Bus Terminal. For more information, please visit http://www.njtransit.com/sf/sf_servlet.srv?hdnPageAction=BusTo.

Please be advised that any bags or backpacks brought into the festival area are subject to search by law enforcement. Attendees are encouraged to pack belongings in clear bags that show the contents. Coolers will not be allowed in the festival area. For a full list of what can be carried into the festival and what is banned, and for more information on the event, transportation, and announcements please visit www.50starfireshow.com.

For updates on this and other stories check hudsonreporter.com and follow us on Twitter @hudson_reporter. Al Sullivan can be reached at asullivan@hudsonreporter.com