Halsey Festival, Newark’s popular annual celebration, will kick off Saturday, July 22, on Halsey Street, between Central Avenue and New Street, from noon to 8 p.m. The three-part festival, organized by Newark Alliance, will showcase Newark’s talented creatives, makers and small businesses. This year, Newark Alliance is joining forces with lifestyle brand BrownMill Company to host the initial event, “BrownMill Anniversary Block Party x Halsey Fest.”
These two organizations have curated an immersive day-long, free outdoor celebration that offers an array of experiences for people of all ages. STEAM URBAN, in partnership with Newark Arts, will host a Family S.T.E.A.M. Funday — which will include superhero cape-making, face painting, bubble science and canvas bag painting. Other activations include a farmers market by Urban Agriculture Cooperative, neighborhood public art tours by Have You Met Newark, an art workshop by The Nork Project, a dunk tank sponsored by Newark Downtown District and a curated event marketplace featuring businesses such as Aya Paper Co., I’m So Yoga, Brick City Pets, Para KIDS! and Sprouts Juice. Guests will enjoy music all day long including DJ sets from immensely popular QuinnBee, Nadus and bunkr., as well as a showcase of Newark’s homegrown performing arts talent on the event’s main stage.
“We are thrilled to steward Halsey Festival, expand its impact and celebrate Newark’s flourishing Arts and Education District on Halsey Street. It is a beacon of Black entrepreneurship and a vibrant destination anchored by Newark’s deeply rooted creative community and world-class institutions,” shared Ashley Mays, chief of place and real estate at Newark Alliance.
Evan Weiss, president and CEO of Newark Alliance, added, “Newark Alliance is committed to advancing inclusive and equitable growth of our commercial corridors. Events such as Halsey Fest are a critical component to maintaining the vibrancy of our neighborhoods while providing a platform for additional economic opportunities for entrepreneurs.”
Halsey Street is part of Newark’s historic downtown and its side streets have long been one of the city’s destinations for the arts and design, culture and entertainment. Halsey Festival is rooted in the area’s history, created to celebrate the local culture and emphasize the importance of supporting Newark’s local entrepreneurs. Newark Alliance has identified the equitable development of the Halsey Street corridor as one of its three Transformative Projects, intent on amplifying Halsey Street into a nationally known destination for arts and culture and a thriving example for wealth creation and ownership, particularly for BIPOC entrepreneurs.
“Newark has been an indispensable force in shaping both my career, from my college days at Rutgers to establishing my own storefront on Halsey Street, the city’s shopping district,” stated Justis Pitt Goodson, founder of BrownMill Company. “I’m excited to be part of Halsey Festival, where BrownMill can support the community that has been instrumental to our success. It’s a chance to come together and celebrate the local businesses that fuel Newark.”
The festival remains a platform for creativity to flourish and celebrate Newark’s creators. Started in 2009 by local entrepreneurs and organizers, and facilitated by Rutgers University – Newark, the festival is now led by Newark Alliance. The collaboration was supported by New Jersey’s North to Shore Festival, which awarded grants to bolster the arts in the Garden State in addition to other corporate sponsors committed to enhancing the vitality of Newark’s downtown.
This year, Halsey Festival has expanded to include two additional events: Thursday, September 14, 2023, “The Future is Newark x Halsey Fest powered by OFF THE HANGER, ANE CLOTHIER & NEWARK ALLIANCE” and an event focused on kicking off the holiday shopping season on Saturday, Nov. 25. Businesses interested in showcasing their products or services at Halsey Festival can submit an inquiry at halseyfestival.com.
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