by Marie Solis
If there were any more bands playing at the Rosendale Street Festival, they'd have to find another street. On July 20 and 21, the music festival of Rosendale is bringing 73 performers to their Main Street bash. They'll be playing across five stages, which means you'll have to come up with a game plan to see all of your favorites. Some names you might recognize include Passero, a world music ensemble, Mister Kick, who recently played at Kingston's Independence Day celebration, The Sweet Clementines who will be playing at the San Severia Spiegeltent later this summer, and the Percussion Orchestra of Kingston, or POOK, who was at our Kids & Family Fun Day last month. The music never stops as five bands play every hour from noon til 7pm.
In between sets, you can catch the Children's Media Project's winning flicks in their Reel Expressions Youth Film Festival. Teens throughout the country entered 100 submissions, and 17 of them were chosen to be featured during the street festival at the Rosendale Theatre. The shorts are all between 30 seconds and 10 minutes—just enough time to cool off from the heat. Part of the mission of the Children's Media Project is to inspire youth to take on an active role in the media and change it from the inside. For that reason, you'll find that all of the films deal with substantive topics such as relationships, youth violence, and gender identity.
Though these highlights make it clear the Rosendale Street Festival isn't just your typical town block party, it will have all the standbys like street vendors and food from local stores and eateries.
Two parades bookend the weekend, with the first one kicking off at noon on Saturday with Brazilian performers. The Berimbau and Pandeiro Orchestra will play the berimbau, a wooden bow-shaped instrument that provides the main sound of Capoeira, and the pandeiro, Brazil's national instrument. A dance performance will follow at the Canal Lock Stage. If you want to join the fun and have a go at the Samba, meet at the Rosendale Recreation Center at 11am. The closing parade is at 5:45pm on Sunday, hosted by the Rosendale Improvement Association Brass Band and Social Club—bring your own instrument if you want to play along with them.
The festival is free, but consider donating: Any profits help fund scholarships for local youth to attend music schools and camps as well as provide kids with special needs instruments. For more information or to donate, click here.