The town has planned a series of summer festivals and concerts until the beginning of October.
Among them will be the city's fourth annual installment of Theatre Festival in the Park, where they will showcase classics like William Shakespeare to contemporary theater productions.
Residents will also be treated to annual neighborhood concerts and block parties, including the Hispanic Heritage Month Festival and National Night Out against Crime, which features local talent from all over Hudson County.
"We're trying to support our local artists because a lot of them don't have a place to showcase [their talents]," said Lucio Fernandez, commissioner of Public Affairs.
The summer concerts and festivals also feature a wide variety of music from jazz and other American standards to the rich tropical sounds of salsa and the widely followed genre of Reggaeton.
"We have a little bit of everything for audiences," said Fernandez.
Party over here
Union City usually marks the kickoff to summer with the beginning of the Neighborhood Concerts/Summer Block parties, which are spread out to different parts of the city and have a typical turnout of about 1,500 to 2,000 people.
"Sometimes people don't venture out of their neighborhoods, so if you spread them around you can hit everywhere in the city," said Fernandez.
This year the neighborhood festivities began on Eighth Street between Palisade and New York avenues on June 20. A total of five concerts are planned for the summer, and typically run from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.
"We usually have smaller concerts for the block parties," Fernandez said. "Just one band plays. We have kids shows and clowns, and the Moonwalk [bounce house]. There something for the whole family."
The third party of the season will be held on July 11 at 44th Street between Palisade and Hudson avenues. Free hot dogs and drinks will also be provided at all events.
However, while the neighborhood concerts are brought to different parts of the city and feature a sampling of some of the county's local talents, residents and guest are encouraged to attend the city's larger production on Aug. 19.
Policemen, residents perform in bands
Union City Free Summer Concerts will feature four local acts and a special headliner this year, on the New York Avenue strip from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. (The concert used to take place at the Historic Roosevelt Stadium.)
"Headlining will be Brenda K. Star," said Fernandez, "whose family is from Union City, and who wanted to come and perform since the concerts first started about three to four years ago."
He added, "This year, we are bringing local bands including Cubanos Son, under the direction of Leonel Ortega."
Ortega also happens to be one of Union City's Finest.
"Ortega is also a police officer, and we thought it would be great to have one of our own out there," said Fernandez.
In addition, residents can check out R&B group Hard Bargain, trumpet soloist Eric Williams, and Oro Solido, which was formed in Union City.
Cars, cotton candy at National Night Out
One the of city's best attended events is National Night Out against Crime, which will be observed on Aug. 1.
"This is a huge event and we have attracted over 16,000 people," said Fernandez. "For this event, we also have music. This year we'll be featuring the Alan Quinn Orchestra, which will be playing American standards for the first half of the event, and we'll be featuring Latin Music for the second part."
A second stage will also be set up featuring children's entertainment by Rosario and her Stars, another local Hudson County act.
"There will even be a soft rock band playing," said Fernandez. "We also have rides for the kids and the Moonwalk [bounce house], as well as some sand art and cotton candy. All free."
One of the newest things planned for the evening will also be a mini-car show of some classic models, some of which are owned by local residents.
"We will have about eight to 10 classic cars on display," said Fernandez.
Union City police will close up the area of New York Avenue between 22nd and 29th streets for the event, so families can walk safely.
"We want families to come out," said Fernandez. "The reason why we choose New York Avenue [for major events] is because first of all, it is central to the city, it's a wide avenue so you can accommodate a number of people, and it provides easy access to emergency vehicles in case pf anything."
Patrons can rest easy, though. Police are also on patrol throughout all of the city's events to keep the peace.
'All the world's a stage'
Another of the city's big attractions for the summer is the Theatre Festival in the Park is at Ellsworth Park, between 24th Street and New York Avenue.
"It provides our community a place where they could experience quality theater programming for free," said Fernandez.
The festival, which began in June, runs every Thursday at 8 p.m. until Aug. 31, when Grupos Cemento will perform in concert.
Running back to back this and next week is work by Shakespeare. Next Thursday July 13, residents will be able to experience "Two Gentleman of Verona."
Rounding out the Summer Schedule will be the third annual Union City Arts and Crafts Festival at Ellsworth Park on Sept. 16, which is open to all artists throughout Hudson County and features a variety of programming from poetry reading to dance performances.
And The Hispanic Heritage Month Festival will be held Oct. 7. The festival draws out participation from local restaurants and performances from about 25 artists from all over the world and many genres of music.
For more information about these events or to participate, contact the office of Public Affairs at (201) 348-5746.