We all know that Brooklyn is a special place, and the Celebrate Brooklyn! program in June is just one of the many examples of how unique our area is. Celebrate Brooklyn! is one of the longest running outdoor performing arts festivals in New York. It was launched in 1979 to draw people back into Prospect Park after years of abandonment and it helped to revitalize the park.
Now, Celebrate Brooklyn! is the place to be in June. Every performance is free, from the internationally acclaimed musical numbers to the emerging artists who get their big breaks. Approximately 250,000 people come out to enjoy during the celebration each year.
Now, it was just announced that Reggae legend Jimmy Cliff will be part of the scene this year, offering a free concert in Prospect Park. Known for hits like “Many Rivers to Cross” and “You can Get It If You Really Want” he helped to pave the way for reggae to become mainstream.
As Jack Walsh, the director of performing arts for BRIC Arts Media Brooklyn, said,
“He’s been on our wish list for a long time. I think in particular he really resonates in Brooklyn across all types of audiences. Obviously in Brooklyn we have a large Jamaican community that he’ll be instantly recognizable to. In his later years he’s become a fantastic crossover artist, and we think that really resonates well for all of Brooklyn.”
He’ll be performing on June 5 at 8 pm at the Prospect Park Bandshell. Before the kickoff concert, there will be a sunset dinner to honor Peter Aschkenasy and Jack Walsh. Now this dinner, of course, isn’t free. It’s a fundraiser for the Celebrate Brooklyn! Performing Arts Festival. More information about the dinner and about Cliff’s performance can be found at the BRIC Arts website.