Newburgh typically welcomes summer with their annual Newburgh Illuminated Festival, an all-out street fest with music, food, shopping, and arts initiatives. But earlier this year, conflicts in planning between the city and committee caused uncertainty over whether the event would go on this June.
While down-to-the-wire decision-making was happening, Newburgh Brewing Co. had already planned to participate by hosting live music and a beer truck on Colden Street, where they’re located. With logistics in place and musicians booked, the brewery decided that the show must go on despite Illuminated’s uncertainty, and began promoting their own street fair as, “The First Annual: The Other Festival Is Canceled Or Postponed (we’re not sure) But We Already Planned To Do An Outdoor Beer Garden With Music & Beer & Food & Fun, So… Festival!”
Naturally, the name was a hit with fans of the brewery, and word began to spread.
“We originally planned to do what we did last year and close Colden Street to traffic, set up a beer truck, and have some live music,” explains Paul Halayko, Newburgh Brewing Co.’s president. “Once we found out Illuminated was postponed, we said, ‘alright, let’s blow it up and make it a little bigger.’” They added two food trucks, a dessert truck, and local business vendors to the party.
When the official announcement came that Illuminated was canceled, the brewery’s event—abbreviated to the Colden Street Fest—was ready to run. “This is the largest event we’ve done so far,” Halayko says. “It’s very much an expansion of what we did last year, which was our first year as a part of Illuminated, but we wanted to make it even bigger.”
They’ll take over Colden Street on June 3 from 12pm to 8pm, with live music by Devin Daversa then the Surefire band, a beer truck with five Newburgh beers on tap and canned cocktails, Allan’s Falafel and Happy Birthday Pizza food trucks, fresh-fruit ice pops by El Tecuan, Newburgh-themed tees screen-printed on the spot by Mixture, a fitness tent from Orchard Valley CrossFit, live painting by Rob Mounier, and more. The taproom will be open from 10am on, culminating in a Latin & Salsa Night at 9pm.
In addition to the happenings on Colden Street, businesses around the city are keeping the celebration going between 12pm to 8pm. On Liberty Street, you’ll find a block party with store discounts, tastings, a farm market, kids activities, live music, and more. Catch additional live music, food, and drinks at the Spirits Lab distillery on Ann Street and the Silk Factory on Washington Street, or try a paint and sip at Newburgh Mercantile on Broadway.
The Newburgh Illuminated festival was originally founded by late Newburgh Mayor Judy Kennedy, who was known for her commitment to shining a light on the city’s vibrant community—where the “Illuminated” idea began. Despite the festival being canceled due to logistics (or politics) this year, the intention still shines on.
“What I’m most excited about with this new event is keeping the spirit of Illuminated going with a family-friendly community fest,” Halayko says “It’s disappointing that Illuminated got canceled, but so many businesses and people around Newburgh are keeping the spirit alive.”