NEWBURGH – Some 15,000 to 20,000 people came out to celebrate the Newburgh Illuminated Festival Saturday, a gathering that acknowledges the diversity, culture and essence of the Hudson River city.
The thousands in attendance lined from the Broadway all the way to the end of Liberty Street, with various local vendors lining the streets frequented by the visitors.
From Double Dutch rope jumping…
to a one-man band
Festival Chairman Paul Ernenwein said this sixth year of the festival has solidified it as an institution “not only for the City of Newburgh; it has become an institution for Orange County: it has become an institution for the region,” said Ernenwein. “What I mean by that is, folks from all over, from Monticello, from Brooklyn, from Kingston and Poughkeepsie, and Beacon – they all look forward to this day in Newburgh – Newburgh Illuminated.”
Orange County Legislator Kevindaryan Lujan said it is events like these that highlight the beauty and community of Newburgh that is not always portrayed.
“It’s Newburgh’s renaissance,” said Lujan. “This is showcase for other people from across the Hudson Valley, and beyond, that Newburgh is much more than negative press releases. We are a booming city with a thriving diversity and we have so much to offer. And so, this festival is really to showcase all those beautiful things that we have.”.
In terms of visitors coming to enjoy the city, Jordan and his girlfriend Asia, were thoroughly impressed with the environment and cultural diffusion the festival had to offer.
“It’s really good in the sense of it brings people together,” said Jordan. “Everyone’s happy. Everyone is mingling, so I like that. It’s very different because in the city you see a lot of blacks and Latinos, but here, you see so many different cultures – so many different races, everyone’s here just enjoying themselves.”