NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - The city Environmental Commission announced the start of organizational planning for September’s Raritan River Festival.

A meeting is set for Wednesday, July 6, 6:30 p.m., at the Hub Teen center, 411 Joyce Kilmer Ave.           

The annual festival, now in its 31st year, is sponsored the city and the Beez Foundation, and aims to bolster environmental awareness and draw people back onto the Raritan River for fun and recreation, Environmental Commission Chairman Scott Yaede said.

Sign Up for E-News

The festivities, which will take place on Sunday, Sept. 18, noon to 6 p.m., at Boyd Park, will include a cardboard canoe race, two stages of live music, food, environmental exhibits and a rubber duck race sponsored by the Beez Foundation.

“The Beez Foundation is a non-profit group and all the proceeds go toward children with brain cancer,” Yaede said. “What they do is they have a giant egg that has about 5,000 rubber ducks in it … and there’s a race. There are some pretty good prizes that they give away and it all goes to charity.”

Although it is not confirmed, the commission also hopes to have boat tours throughout the day that will take passengers up and down the river.

Free exhibition space will be provided to environmental groups wishing to participate in the event, Yaede said.

“If you’re a company that’s going to sell something, we ask that you pay for your booth or make a donation to the festival,” he said. “But if you’re just an environmental group … promoting environmental awareness …, we’ll give you room and space to set up your stuff there that day. We’re trying to get as many people as we can to come out.”

Food vendors interested in participating must purchase a health permit from the city. Craft venders must pay a fee as well.

Commission member Erin Connolly, who has participated in two festivals, spoke of setting up displays, demonstrations and examples of composting and rain water harvesting systems.

The environmental commission meets every fourth Tuesday of the month, 7 p.m., at the city public library at 60 Livingston Ave.