(RAHWAY, NJ) -- Rahway, NJ was just named #2 Best Small Town Arts Scene in the country by 10Best and USA Today. This summer Rahway will not disappoint, this small City has not missed a beat despite the pandemic shutdown. Here are 16 outdoor arts events happening in Rahway. Grab some grub from a myriad of top notch eateries and dine al fresco while enjoying dance, music, spoken word, art and so much more!
1: Culture Crawl Summer Music Series: Paseo - Live music takes place every Friday night in the Paseo, (the vibrant public space adjacent to 1501 Main Street!) during the months of June, July and August. Music starts at 6:30pm. Listen to a great line up of acoustic songbirds! In the case of inclement weather the rain date is the following Saturday.
2: Culture Crawl Summer Music Series: Arts District Park - Live entertainment also takes place every other Saturday night, beginning on June 12, in the Rahway Arts District Park, (the park at the corner of Central Ave and Irving Street). Music starts at 6:00pm. Head on over to listen to bands of all genres! In case of inclement weather the rain date is the following Sunday. Concerts run until September 4 with a bonus night on September 11.
3: ¡Baile! Latin Music on Cherry Street - During the month of June, Mayor Giacobbe and the Rahway City Council brighten up this quaint street with Latin Music from 6:30 pm as part of their Big Summer Nights.
4: Drive in Movies - During the month of July, Mayor Giacobbe and the Rahway City Council bring you Drive In Movies at the Hamilton Stage (360 Hamilton St.) starting at dusk as part of their Big Summer Nights. Registration required. Call: (732)-669-3600 Movie schedule: July 1- The Princess and the Frog; July 8 - Elf; July 15 - Onward; July 22 - Zootopia
5: The Mayor's Concert Series - The final event of the City's Big Summer Nights happens Thursdays in August, Mayor Giacobbe and the Rahway City Council bring you a great lineup of musical acts on Irving Street in front of the Union County Performing Arts Center. Pull up your lawn chair! Festivities move inside the theater in the event of rain. August 5 - 7:30pm :The Soul of Broadway featuring Terron Brooks. Opening act: Day One; August 12 - 7:30pm En Vogue. Opening act: Rusty Monks; August 19- 7:30pm Pop 2000 Tour hosted by Lance Bass of *NSYNC
6: Rahway Dance Theatre Summer Kick Off: Master Classes - As part of Rahway's Culture Crawl Pop Up Dance Series From June 14-24 take a dance class with Rahway Dance Theatre at the Rahway Train Station Plaza. These OUTDOOR CLASSES are a special $5 Drop in rate. No experience necessary. Hip Hop- Jazz- African- Contemporary- Ballet classes for kids and adults! For more information, email them here.
7: "Remember Me" Premier performance by ReFrame Dance Theatre - As part of Rahway's Culture Crawl Pop Up Series, Remember Me is an evening of world premiere dances by RFDT Artistic Director Nathan Forster (in collaboration with dancers), Bailey Benoot, and Charly Santigado. Hosted in the Rahway Arts District Park (corner of Irving and Central in Rahway) on June 18-20 at 7:00pm this series will include a post performance Artist Talk Back on Saturday.
8: Pride Deep House Music Dance Party - Join Mayor Giacobbe, Rahway City Council, and the Union County Commissioners and Celebrate Pride Month on Cherry Street with outdoor dance parties. The first one on June 12 was a blast so don't miss the second one on Saturday, June 26 from 3:00pm-7:00pm. Express yourself with Chalk art, Pride giveaways and other activities. Open to everyone!
9: Deep Afro House Music Dance Parties - brought to you by Mayor Giacobbe and the Rahway City Council in collaboration with AB Salute House Meghan Trainor said it best " I Feel Better When I'm Dancing". Shake off this crazy year and dance your heart out! At these Deep Afro House Music Dance Parties taking place at the Train Station Plaza, we challenge you to stay still once you hear this beat. Guest DJs, vendors, dining al fresco from one of the local restaurants, and coming together as a community make each event one you don't want to miss! Friday June 25 from 5:00pm-9:00pm (Rain Date Sunday, June 27 fromm4:00pm-8:00pm) Train Station Plaza with DJs Mark Francis, Tamir FamilySoul, Roc Anthony; Saturday July 3 from 5:00pm-9:00pm (Rain Date Sunday, July 4 from 4:00pm-8:00pm) Train Station Plaza with DJs Dawud Johnson, Rashiem Ahmed, Crue Paris; Friday, July 16 (with Youth performances) from 5:00pm-9:00pm (Rain Date Sunday, July 18 from 4:00pm-8:00pm) Train Station Plaza. Youth Performances by Steppaz With Attitude and Rahway Dance Theatre and DJ Ameer-Featuring 14 year old, JUSTHE DJ, Justin Miles; August 6 Train Station Plaza - Featuring Rahway DJs and (Rain Date Friday, August 13 from 5:00pm-9:00pm) with DJ Jihad Muhammad (Bang the Drum) and DJ Butch Buchanan (B.B.S.); September 25 As part of Culture Crawl Arts and Music Festival from 1:00pm-6:00pm @ The Gallery Space with DJ David Shell, DJ Zion, & DJ Sharif; Saturday, October 9 from 5:00pm-9:00pm Final Kick off party (Rain Date the following Sunday from 4:00pm-8:00pm) with DJ Beloved Tennant & DJ Mark Francis
10: Downtown Bohemian Festival Pop Ups - Poetry and Jazz is the third in a series of three. This one takes place at the Train Station Plaza on September 4th from 4:00pm-7:00pm featuring poets and open mic. Rain date is the following Saturday, September 11. (Catch the second one in the series on Saturday July 17 from 4:00pm-7:00pm in The Gallery Space (1670 Irving St. ) featuring Short Films & Poetry and Open Mic.)
11: Jazz Trax - Saturdays in August chill out with some cool jazz during the Jazz Trax Series. Hosted by Mayor Giacobbe and the Rahway City Council at the Train Station Plaza from 4:00pm-7:00pm. The rain date isthe following Sunday. Schedule: August 7 - Reut Regev's R*Time; August 14 - James Popnick & Supernova; August 21 - The Joe Lisa Trio; August 28 - Campblicated
12: What's The Word, Rahway? ACP Arts brings you a night of Poetry Slams, Open Mic and Spoken Word on Friday, August 20, from 6:00pm-9:00pm. Hosted at the Rahway Arts District Park (corner of Central Ave and Irving St. ), the rain date is the following Friday, August 27 from 6:00pm-9:00pm. More dates TBD.
13: Derrick Baker and Upwards Entertainment - An afternoon of uplifting music by Upwards Entertainment at the Paseo (the public space adjacent to 1501 Main Street) Sunday July 25 from 4:00pm-5:00pm.
14: Spontaneous pop up music - Rahway's streets come alive spontaneously with live music, art and dance as businesses throughout the district pop up art events of their own. For example: The Coffee Box Rahway has regular live music outside on Thursdays and Saturdays.
15: Rahway River Watershed Association's River Fest - The Rahway River is a vital part of Rahway's identity and the RRWA is taking an entire week to celebrate it! Activities include, a River Clean Up, Storytimes, Concerts, Movies, a Swamp Soiree, a Kayak and Canoe Race and so much more. See the full events calendar at www.rahwayriver.org
16: Culture Crawl Arts And Music Festival - This one day explosion of the Arts on September 25th from 1:00pm-6:00pm hosts artists of all genres throughout the downtown of Rahway. Free to participate, free to attend. Find more details at CultureCrawl.org. (The event is weather dependent this year due to COVID-19.)
First established in 2009 under Mayor James J. Kennedy, the Rahway Arts District (its original moniker) was organized to promote and enhance the business, educational, civic and cultural life of the Special Improvement District of Rahway. To find out more about Rahway visit rahwayishappening.com