2006 proved to be no exception, offering residents plenty of reasons to get their entertainment fill right in their own backyard.
While there are great events in each town all year long, we've compiled a list of our favorites. The list is in no particular order...
1. The Hoboken Arts & Music Festival, which takes place annually in the spring and the fall on Hoboken's main drag, Washington Street. It features over 300 vendors and fantastic music on two stages. Hoboken's art champion Geri Fallo manages to organize the festivities without breaking a sweat.
2. Free Summer Concerts in Weehawken by Hudson Riverfront Performing Arts Center (HRPAC) provide listeners with outdoor concerts with a beautiful view of the Manhattan skyline in Lincoln Harbor Park. This summer HRPAC brought new jazz musician Stefon Harris and indie rock girls Antigone Rising. Ultimately, HRPAC plans to build a permanent structure on the waterfront.
3. JC Fridays - a quarterly all-day event of free arts, music, and theater in downtown Jersey City. Now held at the change of every season, it has grown to attract an audience of just over a thousand. The event is the brainchild of Christine Goodman, Jersey City's own patron of the arts and director of Art House Productions.
4. Movies Under the Stars at Pier A in Hoboken offers residents a wide selection of free blockbuster films every Wednesday night during the summer. In addition to the screenings, there are director and actor interviews before films. This year's premiere was "Brooklyn Lobster," which starred icon Danny Aiello and Jane Curtin and was directed by Kevin Jordan. Both Aiello and Jordan spoke before the screening.
5. The Cuban Day Parade in North Hudson marches down Bergenline Avenue from 79th Street in North Bergen and winds down to 31st Street in Union City. This past June was the seventh year for the parade, which is sponsored by the Latin American Kiwanis of North Hudson. It began in honor of the Cuban Americans living in the states and attracts over 350,000 people, partly because of the large population of Latinos residing in Union City. In addition to the music and floats, the Budweiser Clydesdales made an appearance at this year's event.
6. Landmark Loew's Theater in Jersey City has expanded beyond just film screenings to include art shows, actor interviews and concerts. This fall Todd Abramson, part owner of Maxwell's, booked the national rock band Beck at the historic theater for a sold-out concert.
7. Artist Studio Tours show off some of the best original artwork around. Both Hoboken and Jersey City are host cities to the hundreds of artists that participate in the annual autumn event, and Union City has been offering up some exhibits within its borders as well. This year, Hoboken's event celebrated 25 years. Jersey City has most other towns beaten in terms of size: More than 500 artists participate.
8. St. Patrick's Day Parade in Hoboken paints the town green! This annual parade draws thousands of people to the town, who line up for the march down Washington Street and then pack the local bars and restaurants. It is considered to be the busiest bar day all year, leaving some to wait on line up to an hour.
9. Encore, Encore! The Hudson County One-Act festival, which was hosted by the Center for Performing Arts at DeBaun, brings together the local theater companies from neighboring towns. This September included performances by the Attic Theater in Jersey City, the Hudson Exploited Theater Company from Union City, and The Theater Company, which is the resident company at DeBaun Auditorium in Hoboken, and the gaia group, which is a collective of women in the arts in Hoboken. This annual event will include different local companies each year.
10. A Taste of ... Locals know that Hudson County has fantastic food. What better way to get your fill of fabulous fixings than at the annual Taste of Hoboken or Taste of Weehawken? The Taste Of Hoboken is the annual November fundraiser for the North Hudson YMCA and is held at Stevens. A Taste of Weehawken, now in its sixth year, is held in April at the Food Court in Lincoln Harbor and is the fundraiser for the Weehawken Public Library. Both events brought over 30 different venders that served culinary delights from around the globe.
11. And more: These are only some of the events to enjoy throughout the year. It would be impossible to name all of them. Look around and you will find Hoboken's Italian festivals, North Hudson's ethnic parades, free jazz concerts in Jersey City, plays at Union City's Park Theater, outdoor Shakespeare, art exhibits at restaurants, and creative people all around you. No need to cross the river!
These are only some of the events to enjoy throughout the year.