Jersey City, NJ

What to expect at this year’s ‘All About Downtown’ street fair

Asha Sridhar

JERSEY CITY, N.J. - Come September 18, downtown Jersey City will come alive with food, music and a whole lot of artisan products. The annual ‘All About Downtown’ festival is back this year, after being cancelled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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The 2019 'All About Downtown' street fair in Jersey City.(Photo/Julio Barrantes Photography)

Rachel Sieg, executive director, Historic Downtown Special Improvement District said they are really excited, considering this is the 10th year of the festival. “It’s a big accomplishment to do an event like this. And our job is to promote the small businesses in downtown and in Jersey City,” she said.

According to a press release, organizers are expecting around 20,000 people to attend the day-long street fair that will be held between 12 - 8 p.m.

So, what’s in store?

According to the press release, visitors can expect around 200 artist and artisan vendors, local shops and restaurants, seven food trucks, four music stages and a salsa dance fest too. Think vintage goods, handmade ceramics and scented candles among other things.

Everybody that paid or reserved their spot from the previous year, said Sieg, was automatically in for this year.

Tara Kothari, a Jersey City-based ceramic artist, who will be one of the vendors, said she is looking forward to it. “I was at JC’s [Jersey City] ‘All About Downtown’ in 2019 and am pretty excited about doing an outdoor event again. I look forward to meeting locals. I am vaccinated and I will have my mask on; I feel confident about being at the event,” she said.

I look forward to meeting locals.

She described her work as being inspired by nature. “I fossilize fresh florals into clay, making rustic functional pottery, as well as organic sculptural pieces. In addition to specializing in botanicals, I like to talk about what is going on in the world through my work and creating time-relevant art.”

If you’ve not had your fill feasting on all that art, some options include, Carol’s Cabalen for Filipino Food or Two Boots Pizza for their signature slices. For dessert, you can grab a scoop of Milk and Cream Cereal Bar’s cereal-crusted creation.

There will also be a beer garden by Keyhole and Left Bank Burger Bar and music will be courtesy of the Iris Funky Zone and Dancing Tony.

Other participants include Cantina Candle Co, Allies 4 All, ShifraArts, No Dogs Left Behind, Love Lane Salon, Lucky 7 Tavern, Lucky Loaf and Meta Bodywork among others. Visit @hdsid_jc for details about other participants.

What about the kids?

According to organizers, there will be rides, face painting, games and snacks for children at the former parking lot of the Capital One Building.

Where is it happening?

Head to downtown Jersey City and the streets surrounding the Grove Street PATH Plaza and Newark Avenue.

How to get there?

Organizers recommend leaving your car behind and taking public transport instead. Hop-off at the Grove Street PATH Plaza. Bike JC will provide bike valet services, the press release said.

With the Delta variant surging in New Jersey, what precautions are in place? “We are going to have sanitizer on each table. We are really stressing to people to only come if you're vaccinated. And also, we are having a vaccine truck in the health department there. So if you're interested in getting that done, they can speak to you about it,” said Sieg.

The street fair has free entry.

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I am a Jersey City-based writer and editor interested in books, culture, lifestyle and stories that are off the beaten path.

Jersey City, NJ
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