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Hastings Festival Showcases Arts, Community

HASTINGS-ON-HUDSON, N.Y. – The Take Me To The River music and arts festival in Hastings went off without a hitch Sunday after being postponed a day because of rain .

“This is what I love about Hastings,” said Paul Feiner, Greenburgh town supervisor. “It’s a great event every year.”

Feiner said the festival showcases the community spirit and artistic talent present in Hastings and sets the village apart from any other area he’s encountered.

The daylong event took place at Draper Park in Hastings from noon to 9:30 p.m. Sunday and featured more than 25 bands, food, workshops, activities and dancing. The festival is organized by 12MilesNorth , a progressive arts organization formed in 2005. Draper Park was filled with people from Hastings and surrounding areas sprawled out on blankets and chairs enjoying the weather, entertainment, food and conversation.

“It’s an annual ritual in our village,” said Rob Freireich, a Hastings resident and individual sponsor of the festival. “It’s a great place to reconnect as a community.”

Others involved with the festival agreed the sense of community is what makes this event special.

“It really is a community festival,” said Nicola Armacost, a Hastings trustee and chair of 12MilesNorth. “It’s a combination of local talent and talent from outside our village.”

Armacost said the location and set up of the festival is safe and fun for kids and parents don’t have to worry if their children are running around and playing. This is the sixth year the festival has been held and attendees said they always find something new and entertaining.

“It’s nice to see how every year it changes and evolves,” Paul Blum, a Hastings resident. “ It really shows the vibrancy of the town.”

With so many entertainment, food, drink and activities packed into one festival, attendees said it’s more than an average small-town fair.

“This little village of 8,000 people produce a proper festival,” said Joanne Corrigan, a Hastings resident. “It’s the real deal. It could be in Manhattan, but it’s here in Hastings.”

Jackie Sassloff, a Hastings resident, said the festival embraces the passion many residents feel about music, art and community, and is a great way to introduce kids to the arts and make friends.

“We walked in here by ourselves and connected with 20 people in ten minutes,” said Sassloff. “You don’t find that very often.

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