skip navigation and jump to page content The Library of CongressThe American Folklife Center 
Community Roots: Selections from the Local Legacies Project
Collage of Local Legacies
Boat in shape of a wooden shoe at 1sr Raritan River Festival, 1980
"Old Man Who Sailed in a Shoe" piloted by Frank Varella, 1st Raritan River Festival, 1980. Photo: Stephen Cruz

The Raritan River Festival

Established in 1980 to raise public awareness of the river as a valuable natural resource, this two-day festival is held in New Brunswick and in Highland Park across the river. It features canoe races, specially designed "boat floats," musical entertainment, arts and crafts shows, and tours of the historic waterfront via water taxi. Displays in Boyd Park educate visitors on the history and restoration of the Delaware and Raritan Canal and towpath. An entire section of the park is set aside for children's activities, and a free children's book of activities designed to teach about the history, geography, ecology, and wildlife of the river basin is distributed. Each year more than 30,000 visitors attend the festival. In 1980 folk singer Pete Seeger sailed down the Hudson River from New York to New Jersey on his sloop "Woody Guthrie", arriving in New Brunswick to help kick off the first Raritan River Festival. Since then, Seeger and many other nationally known performers have provided the entertainment.

Originally submitted by: Frank Pallone, Jr., Representative (6th District).

link to www.loc.govMore Local Legacies...

The Local Legacies project provides a "snapshot" of American Culture as it was expressed in spring of 2000. Consequently, it is not being updated with new or revised information with the exception of "Related Website" links.

disclaimer for external linksLearn More About It...
  The Library of Congress 
The American Folklife Center
Contact Us
AFC Icon