The Peekskill NY Celebration - one of the largest festivals along the Hudson River - blasts off every year on the first weekend in August.
The festival takes over Peekskill's Riverfront Green Park for two days.
Highlights include a main stage full of performances, tons of food vendors, inflated fun stations for kids, market stalls, and a firework show to die for.
We've attended the festival several times. See video of the heart-pounding fireworks show at the bottom of this page.
By train: take the Metro North's Hudson line. Get off at Peekskill station. (about 45-50 minutes from Grand Central. You may have to transfer in Croton.
By car: Get on Route 9 and take the Louisa exit and park at the Peekskill train station. You can also take the Hudson Ave. exit from Rt. 9 to get to the train station. Directions and map at bottom of the page.
From the parking lot at the train station, we walked a couple hundred yards to the Riverfront Green Park where the Dragon Boat Races were taking off...
Dragon Boat Races in Peekskill NY Bay
A large crowd, which included bagpipers and military officers, was gathered at the water. Almost everyone was holding roses.
There was something deeper going on here. The cheers for the boating teams, as they rowed across the bay to the starting line, were full of passion and encouragement.
I observed the other teams waiting for their turn to launch.
They all seemed to share some special bond, like a family.
Turns out, the teams were made up of cancer survivors, family, friends, and support staff.
This was the 3rd Celebration Cancer Awareness Race!
After the race a Rose Ceremony takes place where everybody silences and tosses their rose to the water as a tribute those who are suffering from cancer.
After the Dragon Boat Races we headed to the market stalls across the field to check out what they had.
It wasn't as large as I remembered but there were a few stalls worth noting...
Hudson River Apiaries is a company selling local honey, bee pollen, and beeswax products. The Verplanck NY company is run by Dina & Thomas Breitschwerd. Their products include various kinds of honey, handmade soaps and others.
Hudson River Apiaries
After our stroll through the market stalls we decided to grab some eats...
Pretty much your typical carnival food, but the stand where I got that Philly Cheese Steak was offering Polish Pierogies, Fish and Chips, and Burritos. Wasn't expecting that!
We got thirsty so we walked across the street for a pint at the Peekskill Brewery.
I decided on the house beer, Hop Commons.
At $5 a pint and 5% alcohol, the darkish beer was beautiful with the Mussels we ordered.
The mussels were in a coconut milk and red curry broth and seasoned with mint, basil, and chives. Delicious!
Since this photo was taken on the right, Peekskill Brewery has moved into a much larger, upgraded facility right around the corner. Still walkable from the train station.
Mussels served at Peekskill Brewery
Heading back to the Peekskill Celebration we were lured to the stage by the sounds of Ray Blue and his band. They sounded good and really played to the crowd.
Ray introduced a Bossa Nova favorite like this...
"Ladies and Gentleman, I want to play a song requested of us that I find quite fitting... as I look out at the water...looking like the seas...and you fine people here... dancing in the breeze... Girl From Impanema!"
Ray Blue Band Fires up the crowd at Peekskill NY Celebration
And finally, when dusk settled into the darkness of night, it was time for the heart-pounding Firework show that the town of Peekskill NY is known for putting on. The firework show is worth the trip alone! Watch until the end for the finale!
The Celebration Succeeds
The Peekskill Celebration succeeds in its mission to bring community together, promote local businesses, and showcase the city of Peekskill NY. It is a great tradition and certainly one not to miss if you’re in town or would like to become part of it!
Map & Directions
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