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The free festival, which features live music, food, craft vendors, and kids’ games and activities, will be held from noon to 6 PM, rain or shine in Boyd Park, located on the banks of the Raritan River by Commercial Avenue and Route 18.
There will also be an art walk, a beer garden hosted by the Harvest Moon, a sangria bar by Mike’s Courtside, cardboard canoe races, water taxi rides, environmental activities in the Green Scene Tent, and classes in Capoeira, Zumba, and Yoga.
Attendees can also catch musical acts including Mike Montrey Band, The Doughboys, King Django, Blue Highways, and the Junk Rumblers on the festival’s main stage, as well as Kevin Hildebrandt, Bobby Beetcut, Black Circle Symphony, and Seapost on the “acoustic stage.”
During the yearly rubber duck race, up to 5,000 rubber ducks will drop from a giant metal egg into the Delaware & Raritan Canal, from a crane held high atop the river. The sponsor of the first duck to reach the finish line will win the grand prize: a $1,000 American Express gift card.
Proceeds from adopting a the rubber ducks, which costs $5 each, will benefit the Beez Foundation, a nonprofit organization that works to fight children’s brain cancer.
First held on August 16, 1980 as part of the City of New Brunswick’s 300th Anniversary Celebration, the original Raritan River festival included raft races, a decorated boat parade, and a performance from folk music legend Pete Seeger.
Awarded “Living Legend” status by the United States Library of Congress, the festival has historically intended to build community environmental awareness while demonstrating the importance and artistic power of the riverfront despite its division from the city by Route 18.
Free parking for the festival is located in a lot at the north end of Boyd Park and in the Rutgers University Public Safety Parking Deck, located off of Neilson Street.