The Bayonne Arts Festival was a smash success on September 10. The free festivities ran all day from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Dennis Collins Park, colloquially known as First Street Park.
The Bayonne Youth Center, under the direction of President of the Board of Directors of the Bayonne Youth Center Angelique Jackson-Belle took over the event from founders Cheryl and Christopher Mack of The Bridge Art Gallery. The downtown art gallery shut its doors in July after the Macks expanded to a location in Wilmington, Delaware, with plans for another location in Kearny.
Formerly known as the Bridge Arts Festival, the event is now branded as the Bayonne Arts Festival. However, through collaboration with the Macks, this year’s celebration kept with the spirit of the Bridge Arts Festival in years past.
Keeping with the spirit of the Bridge Arts Festival
This year, family-friendly event was sponsored by BCB Bank, RWJBarnabas Health Jersey City Medical Center, PSE&G, MyOrthodonist, and Lightbridge Academy, among others. The festival was held in the same location in the park adjacent to the Gorman Field baseball field.
The event included a host of talent at the artist vendor market, spread about the walking paths and grassy areas next to Gorman Field.
Vendors at the festival included: Victor Macri; Elizabeth Calienni; TysArt; Seth Steven Photography; Rudo Plants and Home; Laura Gonfer Studio and Janeth Fer Artista; Mitali’s Happy Henna Hands; Jde Studio/Sari Sari Co.; City Girl Paints, LLC; Jo Jewels; Angel Hugs; Jenny Spinelli/Necrotic Gallery; Sabrina’s Alchemy; Art Heals All; Interior Designs by PBR; Modern Sage by Leah Guy; Marisa Lupianez; Nadia’s Facepainting; Crafty Fox Studios; Khalea Kollection; C&C Creations; and My Crocodile Snappy.
There were also information stands set up by a number of entities, providing knowledge and resources to residents.
Information tents at the festival included: British Swim School- Hudson Waterfront; BCB Bank; RWJBarnabas Health Jersey City Medical Center; Lightbridge Academy; MyOrthodonist; Bayonne Education Association; Hudson TMA- BIKE VALET; and Boy Scouts Pack 27.
The festival also featured live music and dance performances. There was a main stage and a smaller stage at the festival, where there was performances all day long.
Musical performers included: Charles Tyler Trio; Alexis Morrast; George Orlando; Sterling Sample; and Melanie Murray.
Dance performers included: Deborah Fogo; and Kaisokah Moko Jumbies USA, Inc.; Studio 31, including teacher and professional musician Joshua Dunn, and dancers Melanie Murray, Isabel Riviera, Zoe King, and Isabella Pasco; Surati Dance School; and the Junior Youth Ensemble from the School of Nimbus.
Additionally, there was plenty to eat at the food truck row, including Booza Ice Cream, Double Batch Bakery, Cousins Maine Lobster, Smoke Odyssey, Jerkin Chicken, La Coqueta Mexican Cocina, and Ginger Punch.
A tradition continues successfully in 2022
It was be fun for the whole family, with a kids craft corner too. Storybook Theatre was hosted by Tempest Productions throughout the day, with opportunities to craft make a special crafts for each performance.
While the event was free, a VIP Lounge Experience was available for $40 ticket. Attendees got access to the VIP Lounge, open bar, free food, and a festival swag bag, as well as an artist meet and greet. All ticket proceeds benefit the Bayonne Youth Center’s Back to School Giveaway.
During the Bayonne Arts Festival, President of the Board of Directors of the Bayonne Youth Center Angelique Jackson-Belle reflected on the success of the event in an interview with the Bayonne Community News.
“Being entrusted with this festival from Chery Mack is such an honor.” Jackson-Belle said. “To have it be a successful day after months and months of hard work, I’m filled with pride for myself, and for all of our volunteers. I’m so thankful to all of our fiscal sponsors. This is a beautiful day. This is Bayonne. This really is a true reflection of what this town is all about.”
Jackson-Belle looked forward to many more years of the festival’s success: “This is only the beginning.”
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