Newburgh Illuminated Festival organizers, elected officials ‘optimistic’ about reviving canceled event

The Newburgh Illuminated Festival may return to the city after council members and organizers negotiated new terms for the event.

News 12 Staff

Apr 25, 2023, 4:40 PM

Updated 426 days ago

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After weeks of drama that led to the City of Newburgh canceling its annual one-day Illuminated Festival, organizers and the City Council say they have found a way to hold the massive party this year.
It’s not a done deal, but News 12’s Ben Nandy reports that council members, festival organizers and business owners who were part of the negotiations were optimistic.
Previously, administrators couldn't agree with organizers of the Newburgh Illuminated Festival on its size, ending time and security plan. Last year’s event saw about 75,000 visitors.
On Friday, three City Council members stepped in to revive negotiations with organizers.
At this week's City Council meeting, the mayor announced that the group of council members settled just about everything with the organizers, including:
  • 9 p.m. end time
  • A compromise on crowd size
  • City police, county deputies and possibly some private contractors to handle security.
  • The festival date would be pushed from early June to July 22.
Council Member Ramona Monteverde says she involved herself in negotiations over the permit, because she owed it to local business owners and neighbors.
"I feel like I needed to step in and do whatever I can as a council member, an elected official, to try and move the talks along," she told News 12.
Festival organizer Rich Fracasse says the Illuminated board and City Council still need to nail down a security plan that doesn't involve as much hired outside workers.
"We're all hopeful that we're going to get it done...If it doesn't happen in July, it's still going to happen,” said Fracasse.
During this week's Council meeting, the mayor said he'd like for the parameters they set for this festival to apply to all future festivals in the interest of fairness.


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