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New Jersey Town Wakes Up Downtown with Music Street

Music Street in Edison NJ

Musician and Edison Resident Nick Ryan engaging the crowd as he inaugurates the Music Street stage in June

Joe Coyle on Music Street

Edison Chamber of Commerce President and Councilman Joe Coyle burns the midnight oil to get the signs up on Amboy Avenue in Edison.

Pianos on Amboy Avenue in Edison NJ

Two of the four community pianos on Amboy Avenue in Edison NJ, as donated by residents and painted by local artists.

Edison NJ gives a hint of things to come; Music Street is the road to creating a full-blown art and music mecca in their downtown.

The Clara Barton area is doing more than hosting individual successful events, they are planning for the big picture...and attracting the makings of a full-blown art and music mecca.”
— Melissa Peterson
EDISON, NEW JERSEY, USA, June 22, 2021 / -- Don’t look it up on a map, you won’t find it. Music Street is a hot summer music and food destination that did not exist until a short time ago.

Edison New Jersey has a population of over 100,000 but their downtown Clara Barton area has been kind of quiet for years (outside of their once-a-year Fall Festival.) Too quiet, the local chamber of commerce decided and so they are now offering up a stretch of Amboy Avenue as “Music Street.”

Following the example of Edison Coffee House owners Mike and Marla Fisher, who have hosted musicians at their own expense every Friday and Saturday night for months, Mayor Lankey and council, the Edison Chamber of Commerce and their members are ready to make some noise! They want all of New Jersey to add Amboy Avenue to their to do list this summer.

Together with a nonprofit known as Edison Community Beautification, private sponsors and the tireless efforts of chamber president and Councilman Joe Coyle they have already kicked off music every Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday night. Local eateries with cuisines ranging from pizza to barbecue to Indian food have been looped in to generate buzz and the events have been very well received so far.

It started in May with the installation of four community pianos. Edison based artists festooned them colorfully and now they have been tuned and are out on the street for them for public use and scheduled performances. Next, they added an outdoor public seating area in the center of Amboy Avenue for music events all summer long. It is here that the public can enjoy free live music every Monday and Wednesday in addition to the Coffee House’s Friday and Saturday events.

Mondays have a community theme with local artists and non-profits exhibiting and solo performers. On Wednesdays there is a full band and, if they choose, attendees can add a $5 meal special from nearby Ruby’s Kitchen, Nicks Meat Depot or Fratelli’s pizza and dine outside by the music. There are also bi-monthly open mics at the Coffee House and plans in the works for bands from all genres and children’s events from now till the fall.

On June 26 & 27 the area is hosting Mayor Lankey’s two-day Summer Flower Walk. which will have a beer and wine garden, three stage areas and 18 performances in celebration of the 10 blocks and 120 flower beds and pianos that adorn the Clara Barton section. The scale of the event is a hint of things to come, with more performance areas planned and designed to attract the makings of a full-blown art and music mecca.

Covid made all of these plans a little last minute and it’s been an amazing effort on the part of all the planners, local government and the community to get them up and running. To fill the music stages, resident Melissa Peterson stepped in at the recommendation of a Chamber of Commerce member. Her affiliation with Telegraph Hill Records in Asbury Park and experience planning events in nearby Metuchen and Woodbridge made her the right person to bring in quality, crowd pleasing acts on short notice.

“I’m so pleased to be part of the Music Street plans. The thoughtful cultivation of art, original music, local talent combined with top name acts will serve the community in more ways than I can name. To become a place where people can go for entertainment and where artists and musicians will begin to choose to live benefits business and boosts quality of life and social causes. Clara Barton is doing more than planning individual successful events, they are planning for the big picture.” Peterson raves. “Joe Coyle, his team, Edison Community Beautification and the entire Clara Barton neighborhood are the best example of civic mindedness I have seen in a long while.”

Edison is not messing around here. It is all happening fast so make plans to visit soon—we don’t want you to miss a thing. Visit the Edison Chamber of Commerce online for official schedules, follow Edison NJ Happenings on Facebook or @downtownclarabarton or @somethingaboutmelissa on Instagram to get updates.

Joe Coyle
Edison Chamber of Commerce
+1 732-439-4423