Newburgh businesses plan to hold celebrations, despite cancellation of Illuminated Festival

The staff at Spirits Lab, just off Liberty Street, are proceeding as if this year's Illuminated Festival was never called off.

News 12 Staff

May 9, 2023, 9:36 PM

Updated 441 days ago

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Newburgh's annual Illuminated Festival is canceled this year, but several businesses in the area are still planning to hold their own celebrations for the community.
The festival was first postponed this year because of permit disagreements between organizers and the city. It was then rescheduled for July and then finally canceled.
The festival typically draws more than 60,000 people each year and draws crowds to local businesses in the area.
The staff at Spirits Lab, just off Liberty Street, are proceeding as if this year's Illuminated Festival was never called off.
Ava Carter, the tasting room manager, says while she is disappointed that the festival won’t be happening officially, Spirits Lab and other businesses agreed to hold simultaneous parties on June 3, when the event was supposed to be held.
"We're going to have live music all day, and a handful of food vendors. So, we're planning for a really fun event no matter what,” Carter says.
Illuminated Festival organizer Rich Fracasse says the city tried to place too many restrictions on organizers, such as prohibiting the use of golf carts. However, he says he’s glad that the community is still going to hold a celebration and he plans to have a party at his own restaurant.
“There's a lot of home-grown things taking place. Those little fires will hopefully burn together, and it will work out well,” Fracasse says.
Paul Halayko, the owner of Newburgh Brewing Company, says his business is planning on holding a “block party.” He adds that they have musical acts scheduled and are all stocked up.
The brewery also made souvenir t-shirts that read, “The other party was canceled, but we already planned to do a beer garden with music and beer and fun.”
News 12 reached out to a city spokesperson for a comment on the community’s plans but hasn’t heard back.
The city has said previously in a press release they put forth common-sense terms and rules for the festival, but the organizers kept rejecting them.


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