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Summer Festivals in Newark

Ready for a red hot summer? Then make sure to add these cool summer festivals to your calendar. After a long winter, the warmer months in Newark are all about alfresco fun, and Newark Happening has your guide to the top festivals in the city.

Cherry Blossom Festival

Cherry Blossoms (5 things) 900x506

Although April is not quite summer, the Cherry Blossom Festival each year marks the unofficial launch of Festival Season. Newark boasts the nation’s largest collection of cherry blossoms, and each April, Branch Brook Park turns pink as five thousand Japanese cherry blossom trees burst into bloom. “Bloomfest” attracts over 7,000 attendees from New Jersey and surrounding metropolitan areas and features stage performances, Japanese cultural demonstrations, children’s activities and more.

Newark First Fridays

Each month May through September, Newark First Fridays showcases emerging artists, makers, artisan food vendors, musicians, and uniquely talented street performers. Seeking to empower equitable business and exposure to Newark as a complete city.


The Artwalk: (market portion) is depending inclement weather.* Official Stops: (*Rain or shine) In addition to the Military Park market, First Fridays includes official stops throughout the city: check out events, see exhibits, get deals, or simply meet other First Friday revelers. 

Newark First Fridays, Monthly Festival

Lincoln Park Festival


Each July, the Lincoln Park Coast Cultural District’s highly anticipated summer institution, the Lincoln Park Music Festival (LPMF) returns to historic Lincoln Park. Newark’s signature three- day music festival has been spotlighting the hottest hip hop, house, jazz and gospel music by Grammy award winning acts and emerging local talent for over ten years. Hosting more than 50,000 attendees throughout the weekend, LPMF is now the largest outdoor music festival of its kind in the region with vibrant performances, tasty food and activities for the entire family.

Portugal Fest

In June, nearly three hundred thousand revelers from far and wide head to Newark’s Ironbound to celebrate Portugal Day, a highly recommended open-air festival. For three days, the cuisine, music, and art of Portugal are given center stage. Make your first stop Iberia, which serves as the unofficial festival headquarters, to savor the flavor of classic Portuguese dishes. Several sound stages will get you grooving to live musical acts and folk dance performances. Don’t miss a beat or a bite!

Portugal Day_Green&Yellow 2016

River Day

Riverfront Park

Want to reconnect to the river? Join the Riverfront Revival on June 2nd for River Day, which is an opportunity for Newarkers to reclaim the Passaic River in a meaningful way. The day will begin at NJPAC with the Creation Nation Art & Peace Parade and end at Riverfront Park with a youth arts festival, boat rides, vendors, food trucks, and activities for all. Bring your art, wear your costumes, and join the fun! This is your chance to enjoy a beautiful day on the water.

Sounds of the City

Summertime in Newark means Sounds of the City! NJPAC’s signature outdoor concert series, sponsored by Horizon Foundation, is the place to mix and mingle with friends on summer Thursdays. The free series opens each year with Felix Hernandez’s Rhythm Revue Dance Party, a live version of the metropolitan area’s first and longest-running radio show dedicated to R&B and classic soul. Let your hair down, and give your dancing shoes a spin among the lively crowd, or set up a blanket and lawn chair to people-watch under the stars on NJPAC’s plaza.

Riverfront Park

Afro Beat Festival

Afrobeat Fest

Afro Beat Fest Newark is the largest celebration of African culture and heritage in the state of New Jersey. Now in its second year, this free, family friendly celebration features a marketplace showcasing over 200 vendors. Come out and enjoy food, clothing and artifacts, as well as dancers, drummers and live performances straight from the diaspora.