CHESTER, NJ - This August 16th (rain date: August 17th), the Historic Chester Business Association will host the Black River Music and Art Festival. The FREE all-day Festival will liven up historic Chester, NJ with over 20 bands and musicians as well as numerous visual artists displaying their work. This event is the third annual of its kind for Chester and is slated to include local and regional musical guests from a mix of genres including rock, country, and folk. Last year's event drew an estimated 9,000 people.

"This is going to be an exciting event that blends music and art," said Larry Guizio, President of the Historic Chester Business Association. "We've got some of the best musicians around that have quite a following, so I anticipate quite a turnout."

Visitors can enjoy musical entertainment from four different stages. In addition, there will be a family area, brought to you by The Original Music School.

This year's performers include:
Billy, Busterman, Melinda Davis and the Eleventh Hour, D Jay, double-breasted, Echofission, Faber/Sidotti, Brian Fitzpatrick, Paul Gargiulo, Gary Paul Hermus, The Alisa Jesslyn Band, Just Passing Thru, Caren Kennedy, The Kimballs, The Lame Excuses, Lloyd United, Thomas Martin, Masqued Thrill, Joe McKay, Brian McLoughlin, Rik Mercaldi, The Nairobi Trio, Jeff Randall, Randy Morning, Ed Saultz, Universal Rebel, Tom Vella and the Wayside, The Wag, Wiser Time, and Bob Wolfman.

In addition, visitors are encouraged to browse the original art, including artwork by the students of Matheny Medical and Educational Center. All work will be on display and available for sale. Mediums include acrylics, watercolor, oil, photography, pencil, pottery, jewelry, and painting.

In addition to the Black River Music and Art Festival, the Historic Chester Business Association members sponsor numerous public events throughout the year, including car shows, an apple harvest festival, and one of the largest craft shows in the Northeast (always on the weekend after labor day).

Before the borough of Chester was established in 1779, the area was commonly referred to as Black River. There are more than 80 shops in the quaint town of Chester, with an array of eclectic items for sale - from antiques to modern glassware. Nearby attractions include a working water mill and area farms.