The day-long party will be held on the eastern and western banks of the river. At Mill Creek Point in Secaucus and at the Waterfront Golf Center and Marina in Carlstadt, visitors will be able to take part in pontoon boat rides, canoe eco-tours, wildlife shows, band performances and more, and view the Regatta Challenge Cup rowing races. All of it is free of charge.
Bernie Nagle, who is coordinating the event, said the festival will run from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and will feature the first scull-rowing races on the Hackensack River in six decades. (Those are the types of races performed by college rowing teams.)
While the event will not serve alcohol, it will feature numerous other activities, and estimates for attendance range from 4,000 to 10,000 people.
Nagle said a river cleanup will be conducted in the days leading up to the festival.
Funding has been made possible in part by grants and support from the HMDC, the New Jersey Sports & Exposition Authority, PSE&G, the Bergen County Board of Chosen Freeholders, the Hudson County Board of Chosen Freeholders and the towns of Carlstadt, East Rutherford and Secaucus.
Nagle said the festival is designed to show off the on-going ecological recovery of the Hackensack River and HMDC programs enhancing the rebirth of the river, as well as to bring together communities in Bergen and Hudson County. "This is a family-oriented event," Nagle said, noting that the activities and exhibits were designed to attract and entertain the area's families.
On Hudson County side of the river, the festival will be held at the future Mill Creek Point Park (formerly Tony's Old Mill) at the end of Millridge Road in Secaucus. In Bergen County, the event will be held at the Waterfront Cafe, Golf Center, and Marina at the end of Paterson Plank Road in Carlstadt.
Parking in Secaucus will be provided at Secaucus High School Lots and Swimming Pool Lot. On the Bergen County side, parking will be available at the NJSEA Parking Lots 20 and 21 - adjacent to Continental Arena. A parking shuttle will be available between lots provided by Carlstadt, East Rutherford, and Secaucus
Public safety for the event will be provided by the NJ State Police, U.S. Coast Guard, Secaucus Coast Guard Auxiliary, Secaucus Police, Secaucus Fire Rescue Squad, Carlstadt Police and Rescue Squad and Black Water Rescue Diving Team. For entertainment, the festival will feature live bands on both side of the river, including the Memory Lane Orchestra and the Four Plus Two Band. Live animal acts will be provided by Joe D'Angeli and his Wildlife Show, Ray Pena and his Flight of the Raptor program, and Bill Boesenberg with his Snakes-n-Scales and Turtle Tales.
Water events will include the River Renaissance Regatta Challenge Cup as well all day Mill Creek Canoe Tours launched from Mill Creek Point and Pontoon River Tours.
Featured at the festival will be members of the Inter-tribal Indian Council of New Jersey and Cloverland Farms "Petting Zoo" and Children's Theater.
On hand will be various exhibits by HMDC's Environment Center and Museum Store, an exhibit featuring plans for Mill Creek Point Park, exhibits by the Meadowlands Environmental Research Institute (MERI), Wetlands Enhancement Exhibits, and an exhibit on the Meadows Path. There will also be exhibits from the Meadowlands Conservation Trust and an exhibit called "Trash to Tees - the EnCap golf course project."
Other exhibits will be provided by the New Jersey Office of Emergency Management, the Ridgefield Park Environmental Commission, the Bergen SWAN organization, the Water Fowlists of Bergen County, Tyco Animal Control, the Carlstadt Police's Emergency Response unit, along with the K-9 Division and Mounted Patrol, the Secaucus Police's Public Safety Patrol Boat and All Terrain Vehicle, the NJ Audubon Society and the Sea Scouts 39.
Other organizations expected to take part include the Bergen County Mosquito Control Commission, Bergen Count Parks Department, Bergen County Cultural and Heritage Affairs, Bergen County Police Academy, Hudson County Mosquito Control Commission, Hudson County Parks Department, Hudson County Cultural and Heritage Affairs and Hudson County Improvement Authority.