A new music festival highlighting local bands may soon debut in Northampton Borough. During their September 21 meeting, Northampton Borough Council approved the Equinox Music & Arts Festival for March 19, 2024 at Municipal Park. 

Originally planned for the fall equinox, the festival was moved to the spring due to scheduling conflicts. It will feature a variety of independent artists as well as performances by local bands and food trucks.

While this event has not been held before, organizers say similar local music and art festivals have attracted “a few hundred” attendees. With Community Days, Paw Prints on the Canal, and the Uptown Street Fair already annual traditions in the borough, the size of this new event is not unprecedented and something borough facilities, like parking lots, would be prepared for.

However, several questions remain since this event is the first of its kind. Police Chief Bryan Kadingo asked event organizers to meet with Borough Manager LeRoy Brobst to discuss security at the event. He said a private security force could monitor the event without costing taxpayers and provide a line of communication to police if needed. Councilwoman Judith Haldeman also asked organizers to prepare a list of vendors and a detailed list of the merchandise.

In other news, council approved the closure of 19th Street between Lincoln Avenue and Ridge Alley for another borough celebration. A trunk-or-treat will be held at St. Paul’s UCC on October 29. The road closure will be in effect from 1 until 4 p.m.

“They have a nice little shindig,” said Brobst. 

The Northampton Exchange Club’s Annual Jack Frost Parade is also scheduled for October. The parade, which Mayor Tony Pristash says is among the oldest in the Lehigh Valley, is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Thursday, October 19. Any groups wishing to participate in the parade must call 610-262-9479 for more information.

In other news, it was announced that the borough is looking for fire police volunteers, among many others. The fire police are a unit within the borough’s fire department. Qualified volunteers at least 14 or older are encouraged to apply online at www.northamptonboro.com/fire

Councilman Anthony Lopsonzski, Sr. was a former fire police volunteer. 

“We need help,” he said. “It’s a calling.”

“We have the best…service branches…in the valley,” he continued. “[But] I would like to get our numbers higher.” He said neighboring townships are growing and may soon rely on Northampton’s emergency services for aid. 

Public works was another borough department recognized during the meeting. Mayor Tony Pristash praised public works and the engineering department, speaking with excitement about upcoming beautification efforts. Plans are in the works for a Welcome Center at Canal Park. Grants are being applied for to help build this facility.

“This will be the D&L Trail oasis we’ve waited for for a long time,” said Mayor Tony Pristash. “[And] it will give a little more prominence to the borough.”

The welcome area will highlight local attractions, businesses and restaurants while giving hikers and bikers a place to rest. A riverfront garden is still in the works, while the butterfly garden debuted last month to much fanfare. 

Mayor Pristash encouraged council to continue to come forward with ideas on how they can help beautify the borough and thanked members for all their help thus far. 

Finally, a moment of silence was held for Debra Brobst, wife of the borough manager. Brobst passed away on September 12. She was an active member of the community, having served as manager of the Northampton Memorial Community Center for 20 years. She was also a member of the Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church in Northampton and the Northampton Exchange Club. 

“It seems everyone in the whole world knew who my wife was,” Brobst said at the end of the meeting. “The outpouring of support has been tremendous. It has made my life much more bearable to know she meant so much to so many people.”


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