Riverside Park Conservancy Announces Its Largest-Ever Summer on the Hudson Line-up Featuring Over 300 Free Events

April 11, 2024

Summer on the Hudson, a joint program of Riverside Park Conservancy and NYC Parks, will return in full swing on May 1, 2024. Now in its 22nd year, this outdoor arts and culture festival will feature over 300 free events and programs at multiple locations along the west side of Manhattan from 59th Street to 181st Street, through October.  

Since its founding more than two decades ago, Summer on the Hudson has grown from a handful of small events to a major season-long affair that draws thousands of New Yorkers into the park to see local artists, dance, play, learn and get in shape. 

This year’s robust line-up includes returning favorites like the Silent Discos at Pier I in Riverside Park South, as well as new offerings in North Riverside Park and Fort Washington Park. Boasting something for everyone, the full calendar features live music and dance performances, children’s shows, educational workshops, special day-long festivals, fitness activities, and much more. 

Visitors of all ages celebrate summer during Summer on the Hudson’s popular West Side County Fair at Pier I.

An array of newly added uptown events is part of Riverside Park Conservancy’s increasing focus on volunteer stewardship, park equity and community partnerships. This season, parkgoers can enjoy movie screenings on the Hudson River waterfront at 145th Street each Thursday in August, as well as Sunset Yoga, and a Black Birders Week birding walk hosted in partnership with NYC Audubon. Returning events include Fort Washington Park’s beloved Little Red Lighthouse Festival and World Fish Migration Day at the 172nd Street beach. 

“Summer on the Hudson is one of the best ways to enjoy summer in New York City.” said Merritt Birnbaum, President & CEO of Riverside Park Conservancy. “The breadth of our program offerings ensures that you’ll find something unique and engaging for every age, interest and physical ability – whether you’re a nature lover, a science geek, a fitness buff or a live music fan. My favorite thing about the festival is how joyful and truly diverse it is. This year, we’re thrilled to be able to bring new event activations to our natural shoreline at 145th Street. As we prepare to confront another summer of soaring temperatures, these beautiful shaded, breezy areas along the water’s edge are a lifeline for New Yorkers looking to stay active outside while beating the heat.” 

“At Parks, we are dedicated to fostering unity and community, and this free outdoor arts and culture festival is a great representation of that commitment. By extending Summer on the Hudson’s free community events and activities uptown, we’re helping New Yorkers enjoy our parks to the fullest,” said NYC Parks Commissioner Sue Donoghue. “It is so important that New York City park visitors have access to high-quality, free public programming — whether it’s watching a movie under the stars or taking part in educational workshops… Initiatives like Summer on the Hudson inspire individuals of all ages to embrace recreation, connect with nature, and explore new experiences in our beautiful public parks.” 

Whitney Dearden, Director of Public Programming for Riverside Park Conservancy, is the curator for Summer on the Hudson. Her latest work focuses on bringing in more local artists and organizations from the many diverse neighborhoods bordering Riverside Park. “This year’s festival features over 300 free events, our largest season to date,” she remarked. “We’re thrilled to continue offering perennial favorites while expanding the variety of our uptown programs in order to provide high-quality arts and culture experiences to all New Yorkers.”  

Some of this year’s featured local performers include the world-renowned Limón Dance Company, a modern dance institution headquartered in Sugar Hill; the Harlem-based rock band Granite Garden; The Hot Toddies, a fun-loving hot jazz and swing band hailing from the Upper West Side; “Lady” Cantrese Alloway, a Harlem grown jazz vocalist; and Washington Heights-based performance storyteller, Rachael Harrington.  

“Last summer we had a great time presenting Latin jazz at Riverside Park South, and swing at West Harlem Piers – everyone had so much fun, there was no reason not to do it again,” said Will Glass, Program Director for the Jazz Foundation of America. “Our musicians thrive on the energy that audiences give them, and in Riverside Park, with music lovers settling in between the greenway and the river, the energy is always great.” 

Popular events in Riverside Park South and West Harlem Piers Park will also return, including Pier I (‘eye’) fan favorites: the New York City Irish Dance Festival, the West Side County Fair, and Movies Under the Stars. Opportunities for “edutainment” include stargazing with the Amateur Astronomers Association, a catch-and-release Fishing Clinic in partnership with the Hudson River Fisherman’s Association, Monuments Tours with the New York Historical Society, and Horticulture Tours with Riverside Park Conservancy gardeners (available for the first time in Spanish). 

“Films on the Green is thrilled to return to the iconic Riverside Park this summer with free French movies on the pier,” said Mohamed Bouabdallah, Cultural Counselor of France in the United States and Director of Villa Albertine. “With a legacy of organizing screenings in Riverside Park since 2011 as part of the Summer on the Hudson program, we aim to kindle the vibrant energy that brings people together around a shared love of cinema, cultural diversity, and the outdoors.”  

“Summer on the Hudson has something for everyone, whether you’re a lifelong Manhattanite or just visiting. Pairing the beauty of Riverside Park with our local arts and culture scene makes for one of the best summer event calendars in the city,” said Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine. “I’m grateful to the Riverside Park Conservancy for all they do to provide fantastic and free programming all summer long.” 

“I have never been more excited for summer in Uptown Manhattan,” said Council Member Shaun Abreu. “The Conservancy has outdone themselves again with this jam-packed calendar of free, world-class programming along the Hudson River. This is New York City at its very best.” 

“Summer on the Hudson programs are one of the highlights of a West Side Summer—making Riverside Park even more enjoyable,” said Council Member Gale A. Brewer. “From music and dance to DJs and kid’s shows, the Conservancy and NYC Parks have plans to make Summer 2024 the best yet.” 

“The importance and benefits of access to open-air spaces and community-building for the physical and mental health of New Yorkers cannot be understated,” said Council Member Carmen De La Rosa. “We are proud to have Riverside Park Conservancy in our backyard, offering free summer programming to our Uptown families.” 

Parkgoers enjoy free fitness and wellness opportunities in nature in a West Harlem Piers Park class.

As part of its efforts to highlight and fundraise for more free public programming in the park, Riverside Park Conservancy is transforming its traditional annual spring benefit into a “launch party” for the Summer on the Hudson 2024 season. Scheduled for June 5 in Sakura Park, the new ticketed event will feature local artists and performers while raising important funds for the Conservancy’s public programming and landscape stewardship operations. Information about this event can be found at riversideparknyc.org/revue.  

Fans are encouraged to follow Summer on the Hudson and the Conservancy’s social media platforms closely for details regarding weather cancellations, new pop-up events, and more. 

Riverside Park Conservancy 
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About Riverside Park Conservancy

From 59th Street to 181st Street, from riverfront to city-side, Riverside Park Conservancy cares for and enhances six miles of parkland for present and future generations. Working together with the New York City Parks Department, we make improvements as diverse as the park itself and the city it serves.