Celebrate South Orange organizers, in conjunction with the South Orange Performing Arts Center, have announced the entertainment lineup scheduled for Celebrate South Orange 2012 on Saturday, June 16. Entering its sixth year, the family-friendly downtown celebration has made a name for itself as South Orange, NJ’s signature annual community event.

This year’s entertainment comes courtesy of the Arts for All Festival at Celebrate South Orange, a brand-new partnership among Main Street South Orange, SOPAC, and The Baird. Arts for All will bring a full schedule of live local entertainment to the main stage area throughout the day, along with a juried craft show that will feature some of the best local painters, photographers, jewelers, and artisans. The celebration will culminate in the evening with a community dance party at the main stage.

The Arts for All Festival at Celebrate South Orange will kick off the prior week, on Friday, June 8, with a free performance by Lydia Johnson Dance, the dance company in residence at SOPAC. The troupe will perform a special preview performance of new and recent dances. The free performance will begin at 7:30 p.m.; seats are available on a first come, first seated basis.

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Headlining the evening community dance party at CSO on Saturday, June 16, will be the Wisenheimers, a popular New Jersey pop, rock, and top-40 band playing a variety of upbeat, danceable hits from the last five decades, from 60s Motown and 70s disco through 80s New Wave and 90s Britpop to today’s modern chart-toppers. The performance will be held on the main stage area beginning at 6:30 p.m.; admission is free and no tickets are necessary.

In addition to the headlining performances, the main stage at CSO will host a variety of musical performers throughout the day beginning at 2:00 p.m. Featured entertainers—many of whom have roots in South Orange—include:

  • RedWall  The members of this South Orange-based foursome describe themselves as “essentially a blues rock band that throws in some other random music from time to time.”
  • Doomsday Diaries  Think progressive/psychedelic music meets “School of Rock,” as all five band members are still in their teens. Doomsday Diaries has performed at the Stony Pony and at last year’s Bamboozle Music Festival.
  • FELT  Defining itself as “‘Accoustafolkadelic’ with thump and grind,” this band harkens back to an earlier era’s popular country-rock with a good dash of the blues sound.
  • Matt Mattheiss + Rob Betrus  South Orange native singer/songwriter Mattheiss teams up with Rob Betrus to present original acoustic rock and classic rock covers from the 70s and 80s.
  • First Baptist Church of South Orange  This local gospel ensemble adds an upbeat, uptempo, and energetic flavor to the main stage.

Arts for All at Celebrate South Orange has been made possible in part by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts. More information on Celebrate South Orange 2012, including sponsorship, vendor, and volunteering opportunities, is available at www.celebratesouthorange.org.