"It went fabulous," said the city's cultural affairs director, Geri Fallo, the event's coordinator. "Every year it just seems to get better. We had so many great volunteers, which are such a necessity to run a festival of this size smoothly. The artists, and musicians, and vendors did a great job, and everyone I have talked to this week has been raving about [the festival] and can't wait to come back in the fall."
Karen Metcalfe of Hoboken brought her husband, three kids and her cocker spaniel out to enjoy the music and food. "For the last couple of years this has been a ritual for us," said Metcalfe. "We start at Eighth Street, we fill up on great food, listen to some music and then I drop off the kids in [the children's portion of the festival] with my husband and I go and do what I love to do, shop."
According to Fallo the thing that set this year's event apart from years past was the amount of activities that were provided for children. "We had a lot more stuff for kids this year," said Fallo. "It makes me feel good to incorporate everyone, and this year I think we went the extra mile to incorporate the entire community." She said that in addition to the usual clowns, stiltwalkers, and children's musicians, this year's festival featured local schools who came out to entertain the little ones. Among the performances, the one that really stuck out was the Hoboken High School students' singing of a couple of songs from "Annie."
The music at the spring festival was, as usual, eclectic, with acts performing on three stages.
"We always try to get a good mix," said Fallo. "Richie Havens is always a favorite, and Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes are always a fun, crowd pleaser."
Apart from those two headliners, the festival's First Street stage featured other musicians that included local band Seeking Homer, country singer Laura Cantrell, and the Frank Sinatra/Ska fusion band Skanatra.
The highlight of the festival's Sixth Street stage was a high-energy performance by local reggae band Verdict, which had people dancing in the street. That stage also featured David Stellmach, the All Saints Day School Glee Club, the Hudson Shakespeare Company, Linda Impanema and the Dixie Cats and Gene D. Plumber.
Food at the event ranged from Italian, Greek, and Caribbean delicacies to those guilty pleasure of cotton candy, ice cream, crepes and giant pretzels. In addition to the food vendors that came from out of town, there were many local Hoboken eateries that set out booths giving spectators a taste of indigenous Hoboken cuisine.
Susan Jones of Manhattan was very impressed of everything that Hoboken and the festival had to offer.
"We have had a great time," said Jones, as she listened to the reggae beats of to Verdict. "Everyone is listening to music, filling up on food and finding really great deals on high quality arts and crafts. I definitely plan on coming back next year."