The third Positively 8th Street Festival of the summer was a vibrant colorful day of music, arts, crafts, pop-up restaurants, bars, parks and playgrounds. It was a day to celebrate the diversity, vitality and energy of 8th Street, and its importance to the sustained health of our neighborhood and community.
The eclectic and flourishing small businesses and cultural institutions of 8th Street are its beating heart and soul, with many taking part in the Positively 8th Street Festival, reclaiming the street for the day as an extension of their stores and restaurants.
305 Fitness got the day off to a pulsating high-energy start with their signature, dance inspired high intensity cardio class right out on the street, with over 30 people creating an electric carnival atmosphere as they danced and shook!!
West 8th Street is steeped in rich artistic history, a theme celebrated at every Positively 8th Street, led by the New York Studio School (site of the first Whitney Museum) who hosted outdoor life drawing sessions while their neighbor, the Storm Ritter Studio brightened the streets with their colorful fashion and art. The creativity continued further along the block with free caricature drawing, face painting and henna tattoos! Village icon the Jefferson Market Library turns 50 this year and at Positively 8th Street, they have been taking a trip down memory lane by artistically recreating placards from the 1974 protests when the library was threatened with closure. Across the street, the Strangers Project returned to share and collect the anonymous stories of hundreds of visitors, adding to their collection of 30,000 stories.
A popular recurring feature at Positively 8th Street are the mini pop-up parks made of real grass, giving folks the opportunity kick back, eat, drink and relax! A new feature in August was a pop-up playground created by Play:Ground NYC, the folks behind the legendary Governors Island pop-up. For four hours kid’s (and some grown up’s) were able to create, play, destroy and explore resulting in unique creations made from cardboard, string, tape markers and even an old parachute!!
Throughout the afternoon folks visitors enjoyed live music from four different singer/song writers, with awesome band the Angry Kickin’ Feet rocking out the street at the Arts & Craft’s Beer Parlor Garden! It was not just Arts & Crafts who reclaimed the street with pop-gardens and outdoor service, Analogue, Il Bambino, Amelie, Ancolie, Rasa, EVASA and Le Pain Quotidien all added to the buzz of the day.
The most important component of any festival is the people who visit and share their energy, passion and enthusiasm in helping celebrate 8th Street, its small businesses and sense of community. The feel of Saturday’s event was chilled and happy, it was a feel that helps set the block apart from so many others, helping it maintain is quirky, eclectic and creative vibe. Our sincere thanks to everyone who visited the festival, took part in the activities and spent money with the independent businesses. Together, we can help maintain the life, soul and fabric of our street for years to come, keeping it the special block it is. As we like to say, it’s the “little street could”.