Tribute to Founder, Pete Seeger

LONG BRANCH, NJ - The 39th Annual Clearwater Festival, New Jersey's oldest eco-festival, will fill the oceanside Great Lawn in Long Branch with music, song and environmental exhibits from 11 am to 7 pm, Saturday, September 13.  This is its second year at the Long Branch site.

The free, family-friendly event is dedicated to the late Pete Seeger, folksinger, environmentalist and the man who inspired the formation of New Jersey Friends of Clearwater (NJFC), the non-profit, all-volunteer group that runs the festival.  Pete Seeger passed away in January at 94.

Our theme is " 'What would Pete do?' when it comes to fighting for our environment and social justice,” said Ed Dlugosz, Pete's friend and President of NJ Friends of Clearwater, "Pete has been the conscience of and champion for America and the world for well over 70 years on the topics of the environment, democracy, peace, civil rights, social injustice, and the list goes on. We'd all do well to consider and follow his point of view on any of these topics."

“Over forty years ago Pete came to speak in Monmouth County and since then he has been, and always will be, our mentor in bringing the message of environmental awareness and protection mixed with some of the best music.  The Clearwater Festival is his legacy here in New Jersey.  We invite everyone to come celebrate our environment and the life of Pete Seeger.”

Well-known for its eclectic program of folk, rock, blues, gospel and children's music, the open-air festival also features environmentally-friendly information from environmental advocates like NJ Clearwater, Clean Water Action, League of Women Voters, Food & Water Watch, and Sierra Club.  Its Children's Area features children's sing-along performers and activities like arts and crafts. Our vendors include eco-friendly green vendors, a diverse variety of food vendors, other commercial vendors, and creative artists vending their own crafts.

Headline singer Spook Handy will do a special tribute to his friend Pete Seeger. All performers will sing at least one song written by Pete as a large part of the tribute. 

Among the performers performing on the Main Stage are: J.T. & Bleeders, The Wag, The May Darlings, Poppa John Bug, Golden Seal, COS Singers; and the South Stage features: Great Blue, Carolann Solebello, Richard Deans Band, Joe Rapolla Band, Bob Martin and the Ditch Diggers, Kevin John Allen, and the O'Neill and Martin Band.

The "Circle of Song Stage" will feature (alphabetically) Jan Christensen, Circle Round the Sun, Jim Crawford, Cosby Gibson, Spook Handy, Ingrid Heldt, Dale Lakata, Mara Levine, Rob Lincoln, Dennis MC Do No Ugh!, Bob Mecklenburger, Sally Neal, Joe Petraitis, Isis Ra, Cynthia Summers, Rosemary Wright and others.  The Circle is a performance area where festival goers are encouraged to bring their own instruments and voice and join in the fun.

The Environmental Justice Roundtable will be presented for the 7th year.  It brings together urban and workplace leaders to discuss how environmental issues have a disproportionate impact on the young and the poor. Our invited guest leader again is Lois Marie Gibbs, the executive director of the Center for Health and Environmental Justice (CHEJ) and Love Canal heroine. The Roundtable will begin at 2 pm.

NJFC is a grass roots organization whose volunteers conduct environmental education, advocacy, waterway clean-ups, environmental watches, and political action.  Its Traveling Environmental Festival (TEF) visits schools and youth organizations to teach young people about the environment.  To date, TEF volunteer educators have visited over 35,000 children.  NJTC memberships, commemorative tee-shirts and shoulder bags will be available for sale at the festival.

The event is handicap accessible, and sign language interpreters are available. 

The Great Lawn is located on the ocean between Madison Avenue and Ocean Terrace.  Parking is limited east of Ocean Blvd.; west of Ocean Blvd. is preferable. Parking options are on the website. NJ Transit North Jersey Coastline service to Long Branch is a 10-15 minute walk from the Great Lawn. 

For a list of performers and events visit our website www.njclearwater.org  and click Festival.

NJFC is seeking sponsors and the deadline for food, craft and environmental vendors to apply is September 5.  Go to www.njclearwater.org/festival .   Call 732-784-8547 or email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.