Greenwich Village’s favorite street festival, Positively 8th Street, returned on June 9 for the first of three summer Saturdays celebrating the creative and musical heritage of West 8th Street and Greenwich Village.
Now in its sixth year, the Positively 8th Street Festival continues to evolve and grow and June 9 was no exception with an exciting combination of several Positively 8th Street “firsts”, and the return of many favorites!
The festival provides the thriving independent businesses and institutions of West 8th Street the opportunity to expand into the street, while bars and restaurants including the Arts & Crafts Beer Parlor, Il Bambino, Amelie, and Mekki all create outdoor eating and drinking gardens. The New York Studio School and Storm Ritter Studio took art and creativity onto the street, offering free life drawing sessions and community painting respectively.
Creativity flowed across West 8th Street in abundance, with opportunities for curious minds, young and old to create, draw, and build. Festival favorite, the Scribble Art Workshop offered adorable opportunities to color and create Washington Square arch mobiles. The Textile Arts Center demonstrated the many different ways textiles and fabrics can be used, which included yarning and fabric dying demonstrations. The Uni Project joined Positively 8th Street for the first time and were an instant hit with their outdoor drawing and reading studio! For those wanting to be on the receiving end of creativity there was free face-painting and caricature drawings, leading to some jovial and hilarious outcomes! All the while, there was another Positively 8th Street first; huge, beautiful, sparkling bubbles silently and gracefully gliding above the heads of revelers, courtesy of Bubble Dad!
There is always something special about taking back the streets for the day, filling them with people, life, and color instead of cars. At Positively 8th Street, the event organizers, the Village Alliance, take their regular street beatification and greening program to the next level by covering swathes of the street with real grass! These pop-up parks provide the perfect oasis to kick back, chill, and soak up the festivals sights and sounds.
Amid the pop-up parks, visitors also had the opportunity to reflect and think about stories, their own life stories, and read those of others with the Strangers Project. Over 30,000 anonymous handwritten stories have been collected by the Strangers Project, which has become a Positively 8th Street favorite.
Community cohesion is always a central theme of Positively 8th Street and June 9 was no exception. The Village Alliance partnered with the Greenwich Village & Chelsea Chamber of Commerce, and Hetrick-Martin Institute to co-produce the festivals music and entertainment, another Positively 8th Street first! There was a colorful, vibrant array of performance across two stages, featuring singer/songwriters, spoken word poetry and comedy, and colorful dancing including a memorizing Ori Tahitian dance set, yet another Positively 8th Street first!
Festivalgoers also had opportunity to connect with local community groups and advocates including the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation (GVSHP) and Neighbor to Neighbor. The next two festivals will see the return of GVSHP alongside the Neighborhood Preservation Center and the Washington Square Park Conservancy.
Positively 8th Street returns on July 14th with for another fun filled summer Saturday of creativity, outdoor dining, pop-up parks, and a stellar musical line up featuring the Richard Barone & Friends, Coyote & Crow, The Bailsman, and the Angry Kickin’ Feet among others.
Check back soon on the Facebook event page for the latest event details and music performance schedule.