I have to admit, it’s been years since I have been to the Newburgh Illuminated Festival. I went to the very first one when the festival was scattered throughout the city. Since then, the organizers have concentrated the festivities on blocked off sections of Broadway and Liberty Street. The progress has been amazing! This festival has morphed into a monumental task and the hard work has really paid off! For one day the east end was full of thousands of people. Families, visitors, and old timers flooded the city, not only purchasing from the many vendors, but also packing out the local businesses that already exist.
Music has been a constant theme of all the festivals. This year did not disappoint with an added stage at the new Safe Harbors Green Park. I didn’t stick around till the end, but the party continued until 10 pm with well-attended concerts. Many people said this year had the largest crowd ever. We had the ideal weather that day, and it certainly helped.
For me, this festival represented the future of Newburgh. It was a day where people could see Newburgh with a new lens. As I stood around and listened to the whispers, you could feel the energy of a lively and bustling city. Hopefully, this excitement will generate future visits to the east end year round.
And to those of you that helped make the festival happen, pat yourselves on the back. You did an outstanding job. Planning an event of this scale is labor intensive and most (if not all of you) did this on a volunteer basis. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
The shops and pop up shops were packed with people.