Ripped returning for Woodstock Festival

Photo courtesy James Hooper Jimmy Hooper performs at one of last year’s concerts sponsored by the Lyndhurst Youth Performing Arts Association.
Photo courtesy James Hooper
Jimmy Hooper performs at one of last year’s concerts sponsored by the Lyndhurst Youth Performing Arts Association.


Get ready for Woodstock redux.

Well, that’s actually the second annual Woodstock Festival, co-sponsored by the Lyndhurst Youth Performing Arts Association (LYPAA) and A&M Music and owner Alan Maisano.

It’s coming up Saturday, Aug. 15, at the Town Hall Park in Lyndhurst, from noon to 7 p.m. Aside from the music, there will be refreshments including hotdog and ice cream vendors.

On this year’s bill, returning from last year’s event, are: Maisano’s band Second Reaction, Tony Forte and Ripped (featuring former Kearny residents Steve Keller on lead guitar and Steve Sroczynski as lead singer), along with new entries The Catering Company and Steve Bello Band, interspersed with local youth performers.

And admission is free.

The festival is part of the annual Summer Concert Series that the LYPAA has presented since its organization by founders/co-directors Jim Hooper and Gary Palmisano, both Little League coaches. This season, Hooper said, the group is hoping to extend the series with an October concert. Previously this summer, it has offered shows at the same venue on June 19 and 23.

“The township Board of Commissioners and mayor are very generous, allowing us to use the Town Hall Park, and a special thanks to Parks & Recreation Commissioner Tom DiMaggio,” said Hooper.

He also thanked the town for allowing his son, Jimmy Hooper and Gary’s kids Rachel and C.J. Palmisano, to open up for some of the Music Under the Stars concerts that the town sponsors.

“Every other week,” Hooper noted, “one of our members will be performing at the Lyndhurst Farmers Market, from noon to 1 p.m., at the basketball courts across from the Lyndhurst Town Hall Park. The market is every Friday, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., through Oct. 30.

“We also are looking to enter the Harrison Fest Parade on Sept. 19 in honor of the Town of Harrison’s 175th anniversary and also perform on stage at some of the three-day festivities, which run Sept. 18, 19 and 20.”

The LYPAA was created to provide public performing opportunities for Lyndhurst youth singers, bands and musicians and, to date, the group has drawn about 40 youth performers, according to Hooper. It also includes one girl who performs ballet, he noted.

“The township has provides us with a performing space and the Lyndhurst Board of Education has helped us by loaning us speakers and a sound board,” Hooper said.

The association, which does not charge its members any entry fees, is now exploring the possibility of incorporating as a non-profit organization, he said.

“I have appreciated everything this organization has done because I have always wanted to play on that stage,” said C.J. Palmisano, “and I’m fortunate enough to play there more than once.”

C.J.’s sister Rachel and Jimmy Hooper echoed that. Rachel said it’s given her a chance to “share my original music with the community and collaborate with other musicians in my town,” while Jimmy added that, “As young musicians, we need these opportunities to help us develop and grow as performers.”

– Ron Leir 

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