Art, music, and vendors as far as the eye can see mae up Newburgh’s brightest day of the year. This month’s celebration was no exception, as the 6th annual Newburgh Illuminated Festival held on June 2 featured all of these things and more.
Food trucks from Jamaican to Mexican cuisine, crafts, and Hudson Valley organizations and businesses like Blacc Vanilla packed Broadway and Liberty Street from the festival’s start at noon to its end at 10 p.m. With nearly 130 vendors present, anyone would’ve been hard-pressed to not find something of interest.
For the artistic eye, a large stage on Safe Harbors Green hosted dance performances. A whopping 36 groups and individuals performed routines, from ballet to culturally specific dances to hybrids between the two. Inflatable couches sat front of the stage for comfortable viewing.
Just across Liberty Street, a large ring called a lyra, or a hoop trapeze, hung from the center of a huge tripod. Every half hour or so, one of two young women, or sometimes both, would climb, swing, and flip all over it, making shapes with their bodies that no average person could. The women, Alisha Mai McNamara and Lana Heintjes, are teachers at Hudson Valley Circus Arts, a fitness and yoga circus school based in Kingston.
Art also flowed from a gallery tent featuring work from Jill Sinclair, Daniel McQuade, and Nancy Layne. For local history buffs and casuals alike, little yellow school buses drove around the East End Historic District providing historic bus tours. In addition, the fest hosted a fashion show and a color fest—a messy event involving the carefree launching of colored powders at family and friends.
Finally, what would Newburgh Illuminated be without live music? Three large stages sat at opposing ends of Broadway and Liberty Street, and the Wherehouse also offered up its stage, and musicians played concurrently at all four locations. No matter where you went, the music lingered in the air. Notable acts included Living Colour’s lead vocalist Corey Glover, hometown hip-hop artist Decora, Ian Flanigan, and The Funk Junkies.