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Behind The Scenes: 'Take Me To The River Festival' Takes Shape

Organizers and staff work on exhibits for the "Take Me To The River Festival" at the James Harmon Community Center.
Organizers and staff work on exhibits for the "Take Me To The River Festival" at the James Harmon Community Center. Video Credit: Danny LoPriore
Kelly Knowles, left, and Owen Cahill work on art exhibits for the "Take Me To The river Festival"
Kelly Knowles, left, and Owen Cahill work on art exhibits for the "Take Me To The river Festival" Photo Credit: Danny LoPriore

HASTINGS-ON-HUDSON, N.Y. - Busy hands were at work Sunday In the basement of the James Harmon Community Center as organizers and volunteers created artwork, backdrops and stage design for Saturday's 7th Annual Take Me to the River Music & Arts Festival in Hastings-on-Hudson’s Draper Park.

"There's so much work that goes into the event -- beginning months before with booking bands and planning dates and venues," said Liz Sipes Liebeskind, director and co-founder of 12MilesNorth, which created the festival. "We have a great group of "hands" here putting things together.  Many of the art installations are interactive, which is great for our audience."

The Take Me to the River Music & Arts Festival brings nationally-acclaimed hip-hop, bluegrass, jazz, world, folk, Americana, and indie-rock music to the backyard BBQ atmosphere. The event features unique art installations and activities, showcases a wide selection of local eateries, and promotes environmental awareness with Practically Green, an eco-expo of area green groups and businesses. Co-organizer Barbara Prisament said the lineup of performing bans in the best the Festival has had and she hopes to see a big crowd. "This community has been very supportive and we hope everyone comes out to enjoy the Festival," Prisament said. "We put a lot of work into making the day successful. We have a very talented bands -- and several bands of younger musicians." Kerry Knowles and Owen Cahill worked on some of the artwork that will be exhibited at "Take Me To The River". "I've been involved with the (event) for three years," Cahill said. "There's so much work that goes on before anyone performs. We'll be working on the venue, the stages -- through the week." Located in Hastings-on-Hudson, the festival at Draper Park (407 Broadway) is a short train ride from NYC on MTA’s Hudson Line. There is free parking at the Hastings train station, and a free shuttle to the park, which is four blocks up Washington Avenue. Sipes Liebeskind encouraged those who are planning to attend the Festival to buy tickets early. Tickets on the day o0f the event are priced at $25, but advanced tickets are priced at $18 for adults, $10 for college students with identification,  $5 for children from 10-17 with identification. Children under the age of 9 will be admitted free. "We're hoping people will buy the advance tickets and save some money," she said. "We're expecting good weather and a great day filled with music and art." Advance tickets can be purchased at the 12milesnorth website for $18 . Tickets at the gate are $25. Kids 10 –17 are $5. Kids under 9 are free. Seniors and College Students are $10 with ID.

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