Southside Johnny headlines Hoboken Arts & Music Fest today

See print edition of Hoboken Reporter for schedule

Hoboken’s premier cultural event, the Arts and Music Festival, happens twice per year. Last September’s event, which drew thousands, was one of the most successful and widely attended in the event’s history.
On Sunday May 4, the city hosts the spring version of the festival. (The Hoboken Reporter is one of the co-sponsors.)
“One festival celebrates the beginning of warmer weather and relaxing summer days, while the other, celebrates the beginning of the fall season, shorter days, and cooler nights,” said Geri Fallo, the city’s director of cultural affairs.
The festival, as usual, takes place from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Washington Street between Observer Highway and Seventh Street. For a full schedule, see this weekend’s print edition of the Hoboken Reporter, delivered around town.
In addition to three stages of live music, the festival boasts the participation of over 300 artists, sculptors, photographers and local crafters. There will also be numerous attractions for children.
Local businesses and government agencies will be manning booths up and down the festival, mixed with food vendors from Hoboken and beyond.

‘I love how it all comes together in one day and is such a wonderful showcase for Hoboken.’ – Geri Fallo
“I love how it all comes together in one day and is such a wonderful showcase for Hoboken – its artists, musicians, local businesses, food and more,” said Fallo before last year’s festival. “And because it is on our main street, we hope that visitors will walk the festival and then wander onto the sidewalk to check out our wonderful shops, restaurants and cafes.”
Admission to the festival is free, and it will take place rain or shine.

Diverse musical selections

Southside Johnny and his band, The Asbury Jukes, will headline the festival. The group, closely associated with Bruce Springsteen and various members of the E Street Band, are pioneers of the “Jersey sound” that permeated the clubs and bars up and down the shore in the late 1960s and early 1970s.
Also slated to perform at the festival are Frankie Morales & the Mambo of the Times Orchestra, The Black Hollies, the Karyn Kuhl Band, The Coffin Daggers, Overlake, Of the Sea, Liam Brown & the Pounds, and the “D” Plumbers.

Bring the kids

Various children’s performers will also take the stage, including the Preschool of Rock and Mad Science.
And while the music and fine arts are geared primarily towards adults, the festival is certainly child friendly. Children’s activities on Third Street with rides, games, creative activities, face painting, sand art, balloons, and live performances.
Fine artists will primarily be located between Second and Third streets, First and Newark streets, and Newark between Washington and Court Street. Additionally, artists from the Monroe Center will be located on Washington Street between Fifth and Sixth streets. Oil paintings, watercolors, acrylics, sculpture, mixed media by artists such as Ocean Clark, Ricardo Roig, Jason Gluskin, and Sheri Small will be on sale.
Crafters will display and sell their goods throughout the festival. Items for sale will include handmade pottery, metalwork, wood items, furniture, blown and fused glass, quilts, household items made from recycled materials, batik clothing, hand-painted furniture, candles, jewelry, dried florals, soaps and bath salts.
Many of the goods will be sold by Hoboken business owners.

Bring an appetite

Finally, Fallo and the festival’s other organizers went all-out on the food choices this year.
Delectable choices will include sausage and peppers, cheese steak, zeppoles, fried Oreos, shrimp on a stick, crab cakes, pulled pork, and Indian and Thai specialties. Additionally, some new food items have been added this year, including southern style catfish, hush puppies, French crepes, falafel and hummus, cheese curd, and sliders.
Fallo is looking for volunteers to help set up vendor booths in the morning, from 7:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. Anyone interested should contact the Cultural Affairs Office at (201) 420-2207 or email
The festival is sponsored primarily by United Water, CarePoint Health, WFUV, The Hudson Reporter, Walgreens and Capital One Bank.
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Dean DeChiaro may be reached at

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