By Torri Singer
RED BANK – The Wells Fargo RiverFest is back and ready to present a full family-friendly weekend from Friday, May 31 through Sunday, June 2.
The festival kicks off summer 2013 in the right spirit with New Jersey’s largest free outdoor food and music festival, sponsored by Wells Fargo. RiverFest will be held at Marine Park – rain or shine – 5 to 10 p.m. Friday, May 31; 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday, June 1; and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday, June 2.
Danny Murphy, owner of Danny’s Grill and Wine Bar, is the 2013 RiverFest organizer. He was also one of the original founders of the Red Bank RiverFest back in 1980.
The festival that locals know and love today is far different than what they would have found 30 years ago, he said.
“We had 14 restaurants, ran for one day under one tent, 5,000 people showed up and most of us ran out of food by 2 or 3 o’clock,” Murphy said.
Over the years RiverFest has evolved, but one thing attendees can be sure to count on this year is the great variety of food and music.
Featuring local and regional businesses and musicians is somewhat of a RiverFest tradition. This year event-goers can sample food from 21 local restaurants and caterers while listening to live talent such as JoBonanno & The Godsons of Soul, Motor City Revue, Brian Kirk & The Jirks and The Jazz Lobsters.
“It’s just amazing, we were voted as one of the top 100 events in the U.S. by Life Magazine,” Murphy said.
As popularity for the event has grown, the number of people who make RiverFest a summer destination has multiplied, to say the least. “The event exploded into over 100,000 people over the last few years visiting between Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.”
A new addition to RiverFest is its effort to go green. An official sponsor of the festival, M&S Waste Services, will help to organize a “zero waste” event, encouraging vendors and community members to recycle waste throughout the weekend.
As for the future of RiverFest, Murphy expects it to keep growing in size and with the times. For next year, event-goers anticipating RiverFest 2014 can look out for some new additions. “Different vendors, more homegrown artwork and more artists and painters to slowly evolve with the cultural aspect of the festival,” Murphy said.
Additional information about RiverFest 2013 is available on its website at www.redbankriverfest.org.
For more visitor information, contact the Eastern Monmouth Area Chamber of Commerce, 732-741-0055.
Interested vendors and sponsors, may contact This Is It! Productions, 201-653-2699, ext. 201. Visit the RiverFest 2013 website at www.redbankriverfest.org.