2023 Yonkers Riverfest: History, Line-Up, and Family-Friendly Fun
While we are still loving all things summer in Westchester, whispers of back-to-school and fall are in the air. One of our favorite parts of fall is all of the festivals throughout the County such as Yonkers Riverfest.
Presented by the Yonkers Downtown BID, Riverfest is held on Saturday, September 23rd from 12:00pm-7:00ppm where families can enjoy incredible views, live music, delicious food, arts and cultural activities, kids’ activities, and more — for free!
About the event, Sara Brody, Executive Director for the Yonkers Downtown/Waterfront BID noted: “Every year, we look forward to hosting Yonkers Riverfest and bringing new and exciting elements to the event. This festival brings people together to embrace and celebrate the Yonkers community and everything we have going on downtown. It not only offers festival-goers a great experience but also serves as a platform for vendors and businesses to gain recognition and showcase their exceptional offerings!”
To learn more we spoke with the organizers who gave us an insightful look into how the festival started and what to expect from the 2023 Yonkers Riverfest!
Westchester Family: Tell us about the history of Yonkers Riverfest.
Yonkers Downtown BID: Riverfest was created in 1992 under Mayor Terence Zaleski’s administration. At the time, Andrea Stewart-Cousins, the former Director of Community Affairs, was looking for ways to unify the city following the desegregation order. A Yonkers resident shared the suggestion of a celebration of the Hudson River and Marie Burkhart, the former Director of the Community Development Agency
The idea developed into Riverfest, a multidimensional event celebrating the city’s vast resources—the river, its diverse population, the Arts, community partners and business investment. Mayor Zaleski embraced the idea and tasked Andrea Stewart-Cousins with chairing the event (which featured Raffi) and each subsequent Riverfest (1992-95) during his tenure.
Westchester Family: What can families expect from Riverfest this year?
Yonkers Downtown BID: Families can expect a fun-filled day on September 23rd from noon- 7:00pm that will engage everyone in music, rides, entertainment, art, and more. There is also a Kids zone, local vendors, sponsors, delicious food, and much more!
Westchester Family: Why is the festival important to Yonkers and Westchester?
Yonkers Downtown BID: The festival is the largest one-day event (15,000+) in Westchester County where people from the Tri-State area –and beyond– can attend and visit us via train, walking, bus, and car. This festival is important to Yonkers as it shows off downtown Yonkers to everyone as a place that anyone could live, work and or play! An attendee can take advantage of the festival, the restaurants, the murals, Philipse Manor Hall museum, the various apartments to live in, the community and it shows that Yonkers is close to everything – and the downtown is thriving!
Westchester Family: Tell us more about the line-up and local vendors.
Yonkers Downtown BID: We will have three stages of live music from so many genres such as salsa to rock to rap. There will also be tons of food vendors (hot dogs to lobster), beer gardens, arts and crafts vendors, artists, local organizations, elected officials, and more!
Yonkers Riverfest Details
September 23rd from 12:00pm-7:00pm
1 Larkin Plaza
Yonkers NY 10701