Boogaloo Illuminated!

Newburgh Illuminated is a street festival celebrating the city of Newburgh, New York. It is called “Illuminated” because, in the spring of 1884, Thomas Edison chose Newburgh as the place to host the second ever power plant in the world; one that lit up a couple of streets. The festival started a few years ago, but then was on hold during the pandemic. On June 4th it came back in fine style, centered at the cross roads of Broadway and Liberty Street. It just so happens that upon one of those four corners sits Mama Roux—the groovy New Orleans-style eatery/drinkery where DJ Pete Pop’s Funky Brunch takes place. Thus, the Mama management decided to add to the celebration with their own party on that very day, with music supplied by DJ Pete Pop, aided and abetted by Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus.

The festival was as fabulous as any street party we have seen on either coast, with street vendors, local food, arts, crafts, and all sorts of carrying on. Also, there were stages where musicians performed. The Boogaloo Bag writers were able to check out some of the scene, but not nearly enough of it as it was quite spread out—up and down Broadway—almost to the Hudson River—and way down Liberty Street. Folks must have come from all over the Hudson Valley to celebrate the fabulousness of Newburgh!

On the last Sunday of the month, Mama Roux hosts a drag brunch. No, souped-up cars don’t race down Broadway; rather, drag queens present an exciting show. So Mama’s management invited some drag queens to entertain the street festival people. They set up on the sidewalk in front of Mama Roux and did their thing—which consisted of singing and/or lip-syncing (mostly lip-syncing) to contemporary pop songs and dancing around. Oh, and let’s not forget the outrageous outfits they wore! Every time they performed—and they must have done six or seven shows—they had captivated audiences of folks unable to believe what they were seeing. Man, it looked as if those drag queens were having loads of fun!

Also, Mama Roux set up a stand on its front porch and sold food. Good food. The Boogaloo Bag writers partook in the fried chicken, which was most excellent.

DJ Pete Pop and Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus set up in the backyard and decided to play several records that may be a little less obscure than their usual fare—with an emphasis on the more swingin’ soul sides from the early seventies. This seemed to work, as it enticed many folks to pass through the backyard gate into the bop yard to dig the scene—and to cop a frothy beverage or eat the fine food Mama’s was layin’ down. The two DJs traded sets at the decks from about 11 AM to about 10 PM. More than a hundred records were played by Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus, and here they are:

None of these records are for sale. Too many to add sound links, so only obscure records are linked.

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