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The 2022 Bayonne Arts Festival keeps an annual tradition alive

Formerly known as the Bridge Arts Festival, this was the first year the event was held by the Bayonne Youth Center

The Bayonne Arts Festival saw many residents enjoy the activities spread throughout First Street Park on September 10, 2022. Photos by Daniel Israel.

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.

Elizabeth Calienni discusses her art with some young children.

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.

A wide variety of plants and greenery were sold by Rudo Plants and Home.

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.

Mayor James Davis (center) and City Councilman At-Large Loyad Booker (right) were among officials present at the festival.

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.

George Orlando played the main stage at 1 p.m.

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.

Joshua Dunn and his backup dancers brought tons of fiery energy to the excited crowd at the 2022 Bayonne Arts Festival.

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.

Many lined up for the array of tasty food at food truck row.

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.

Storybook Theatre by Tempest Productions was a hit with the children.

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.

Former City Council President Sharon Ashe-Nadrowski was also in attendance, showing support for local vendors.

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.

The Surati Dance School dazzled audiences during their performance in front of the Bayonne Bridge.

“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.”

The event was organized by the Bayonne Youth Center under Angelique Jackson-Belle (left) and the Bridge Art Gallery’s Cheryl Mack (right).

Jackson-Belle looked forward to many more years of the festival’s success: “This is only the beginning.”

Residents of all ages enjoyed the 2022 Bayonne Arts Festival.

For updates on this and other stories, check www.hudsonreporter.com and follow us on Twitter @hudson_reporter. Daniel Israel can be reached at disrael@hudsonreporter.com.

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