Funding Cuts Cause Cancellation of Everything Jersey City Festival

Jersey City, NJ – The 6th annual Everything Jersey City Festival, originally scheduled for Saturday, May 18th, 2013, has officially been cancelled.

Cuts in funding by the City of Jersey City have forced event organizer the Central Avenue SID Management Corporation to eliminate staff critical to the organization of the Everything Festival.  

“We are extraordinarily disappointed that the Festival will not take this place this year”, says merchant and Central Avenue SID President Michael Yun. “As a result of the City of Jersey City’s misplaced priorities, the Central Avenue and Heights neighborhood cannot host the Everything Festival, despite its popularity and success. Our organization explored every option possible to move forward with the festival this year but could not guarantee a well-organized event without the minimal staff. We thank everyone whose support helped turn the festival into a very special day for the entire community. We hope it will be back in 2014.”

From its beginnings, the Everything Jersey City Festival was created as a grassroots, inclusive event. For these reasons and more, its loss will be felt far beyond Central Avenue. Each year dozens of locally-based non-profits, charities, artists, businesses, and community members participated in the Festival as sponsors, vendors, exhibitors, performers and attendees.

“For Rising Tide Entreprenuers, it is one less opportunity (and probably the biggest one) to display and sell their goods and services in Jersey City,” notes Rising Ride Capital communications director Esther Fraser. “If the festival is permanently gone, who or what will step forward to replace this economic opportunity for entrepreneurs, artisans and craftsmen and women and small business owners that cannot afford a storefront in Jersey City?”

For many organizations and individuals the event was a special opportunity to connect with neighbors and other area residents. In addition, more than 150 volunteers from local schools took part in the 2012 event. It was a proud day for the Heights that showcased the neighborhood and displayed the communities that live here.  

“Each year the Everything Jersey Festival brought thousands of visitors to the Heights, which generated new interest in our community as well as new commerce and revenue for the city,” says Heights-resident and FARMS IN THE HEIGHTS founding board member BEVERLY BROWN RUGGIA. “Losing the Festival is a tremendous economic and cultural
loss for our neighborhood and Jersey City as a whole.”

Traditionally held on the third Saturday of May, around 39,000 people attended the 2012 Everything Festival and made it one of the largest main street festivals in North Jersey. Performances from hometown celebs like popular singer and “Queen of Freestyle” Judy Torres helped put the Festival on the map and performances from groups such as the McNair High School Glee ClubHudson County Tech dance club and many other organizations made the event a true celebration of the Jersey City and Hudson County community’s abundant cultural riches.

“The Everything Jersey City Festival supported Jersey City artists by providing them with an opportunity to promote their talents to tens of thousands of festival visitors,” explains Megan Gülick, a Jersey City Heights resident and founder of regional arts and crafts event planning company Not Yo Mama’s Affairs.

“Jersey City has many emerging artists and entrepreneurs who need the market that the Everything JC festival provides,” adds Rising Tide Managing Director Jay Savulich. “The business community in Jersey City is significantly poorer with the loss of Everything Jersey City.”

Heights resident and Rising Tide staffer Mary Sansait echoes her colleagues, “The Heights has so much to offer and festival exemplified that year after year. The loss will affect us all not just as residents, but as entrepreneurs striving to better themselves and their community. It also provided an opportunity to expose my child to a positive environment filled with fun, engaging children’s activities.”

Founded in 1992 the Central Avenue Special Improvement District Management Corporation is an organization dedicated to guiding and promoting the positive social growth and economic revitalization occurring in the City of Jersey City by providing supplemental management, maintenance, and improvements to the Central Avenue business district also known as the “Central Avenue Special Improvement District” (Central Avenue between Manhattan Avenue and North Street).