This year, though, you really can't skip it. Headliner Ronnie Spector doesn't play around very often, and her true strong suit is performing live. Plus, a late addition to the festival lineup is Patti Smith, back after her successful gig here two years ago.
The Festival, sponsored in part by the Current and the Hudson Reporter takes place on Sunday, May 7 from 11 a.m. until 6 p.m. on Washington Street (from Newark to Seventh streets). It will boast 300 artists, photographers and craftspeople and nonstop live music and over 30 international food vendors. Music will include bluegrass, country, swing, jazz, salsa, rock and roll and probably any other genre you can think of. Joining the ladies will be a host of local acts.
The First Street stage show kicks off with Scott E. Moore, fresh from a month on the road and from his May Writers Hang Thursday at the Liquid Lounge. Longtime Hoboken darlings The Demolition String Band play next, followed by roots country rocker Bob Delavante. Skanatra, that blend of new (ska) and old (Sinatra) Hoboken, will play right before Spector, who will be followed by Smith.
Meanwhile, on Sixth Street, Hoboken High's cast of Dreamgirls performs at high noon, followed by a Cropduster Records showcase, acoustic rockers Seeking Homer and Hoboken's own all-stars, Swingadelic. At the Third Street Stage, kids will find plenty to keep them busy. Qwazy the Clown does three shows (one with friends) and Yosi does two singalongs. A magician will also open up his bag of tricks.
As if that isn't enough for you, there will be my personal favorite festival attraction: the Moonwalk. There will also be a balloon slide, pony rides, a petting zoo, face painting, temporary tattoos, and of course, the Balloonatic.
As for food, most of Hoboken's restaurants set up stands on Washington to offer their finest fare - that will include Thai, Indian, Greek French, Mexican, Cajun and of course Italian delicacies. Top it off with some zeppoles, and you'll be fuller than on Thanksgiving.
Last year, there were over 100,000 people at the festival, more than double the population of Hoboken, so enjoy early and often: you'll probably bump into someone new.