Embrace Summer: The Red Hook Waterfront Arts Festival

What: 16th Annual Red Hook WaterFront Arts Festival

Where: Louis J. Valentino Park & Pier (Coffey St.  & Ferris St.)

When: June 5th 6-9p.m., June 7th 11-7p.m. Rain date June 7

Why: Before the arrival of Fairway, IKEA, the Red Hook food vendors, and the tag name “Residustrial”, Red Hook has been known for its local youth talent. To support and honor such talent, Martha Bowers started The Young People’s Performance Festival 14 years ago, which eventually grew into today’s Red Hook Waterfront Arts Festival. “It’s truly the talent of young people in the neighborhood that inspired and continues to inspire the Festival,” said Bowers, now executive director of RHWAF.

Friday’s lineup includes the Youth Kick-Off Event, a community sunset picnic, and performances by RIOT ACT’s Police-Teen Theater Project. In addition to bringing their acting chops to the stage, high-schoolers will sell locally-sourced food from the Added Value Community Farm. The Famous Accordion Orchestra and the 5th Annual Red Hook Youth Film Fest will close out the evening.

On Saturday, the Red Hook Ramblers will lead a parade from the entrance of Valentino Park to the Mainstage. Artists on the agenda include tapping, rapping lyricist Joseph Webb (Bring in Da Noise…) and his band Joseph; DJ Chela, and a sunset salsa party with big band group Willie Alvarez y Trombori. Kids and the kids-at-heart won’t want to miss a free kayak ride in New York Harbor with The Red Hook Boaters.

These global artists “share a progressive, positive social or political message,” said Jon Mayer, media & marketing manager of Dance Theater Etcetera, the organization behind the Festival. “And the people of Red Hook support their artistic excellence.” Whether you’re eating, dancing, or boating, this year’s schedule is sure to give locals and visitors a cultural smorgasbord that will capture them hook, line, and sinker.

Cost: Free

How to get there: Take a Downtown F/G train to Smith 9th Streets. Head South on smith to Garnet. Right on Centre, left Onto Columbia, right onto Bush, left on Dwight and right onto Coffey. The adventure is worth all the turns. (718.643.6790, redhookfest.org)

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