A river runs through it
Thousands gather to celebrate community’s connection to the Hudson
By Kate Pastor
It seemed as though all of Riverdale had found its way down to the Hudson shore on Sunday.
The winding path to the water at the College of Mount Saint Vincent opened onto a tent village of jugglers, medieval fencers and fresh food peddlers at the third annual RiverFest, where about 5,000 people came to pay their respects to the mighty Hudson.
The celebration of the waterfront, a project of the Friends of the Hudson River Greenway in the Bronx held in conjunction with a wide range of community organizations and sponsors, saw ships gedepart from the college’s dock, a long lineup of local musicians and engaging activities for all ages.
Everywhere you turned there was an attraction.
Artist Daniel Hauben may have been the only one painting a portrait of the scene, but he summed up the overwhelming sense of community that made the event so striking.
“Being a sort of Bronxite and fellow Riverdalian, I met way too many people I know,” he said. “Which definitely impeded my working on this drawing.”
He was one of the many artists and artisans selling their work. Everything from soaps to handmade flutes and clothing brimming with Bronx pride was on display.
There was little chance for children to get bored. If they weren’t waiting for a turn on the bouncy castle, they were watching theatrics, building birds nests or handling live shellfish.
The Bronx Children’s Museum parked its colorful bus in the clearing, as clowns did their best to blend into the crowd and trip up a visitor or two, and audience members lounged before the bandstand.
“My son hasn’t left the Middle Ages,” said Jacqui Brown, who hasn’t missed a RiverFest.
PS 24 had a button-making station and displayed a 3-D topographical map — made from Lego blocks — of Riverdale, Kingsbridge, Marble Hill and Inwood. PS 81 had kids creating artwork that depicted views of the river.
Representativesof the David A. Stein Riverdale/Kingsbridge Academy, MS/HS 141 read The Little Red Lighthouse to groups of children and gave away copies of the book — made available by Fern Jaffe, owner of former local bookstore Paperbacks Plus.