Festivals in Union

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Barbecue ribs with a smoky rauchbier. A melon salad with a dark doppelbock. The folks behind Get Real Presents specialize in pairings like these, sharing the joys of craft beer and delicious, locally-sourced foods. In this spirit, its team of foodies and beer aficionados hosts festivals featuring more than 80 brews, as well as restaurant events that pair craft beer with regional foods. As unique as it sounds, they admit this isn't exactly a new idea—they take a page from other countries, such as Belgium, who actually anchor much of their cuisine around the effervescent beverage. Following this "cuisine a la biere" model, they aim to highlight all of the great things a freshly crafted brew can do to enhance an evening out on the town, such as highlighting the flavors of a complementary dish, spicing up a local chef's stew, or softening your dad to the idea of paying off all of your student loans.

135 W 18th St
New York,
NY
US

Inside a vibrantly lit ballroom, the names of two newlyweds glow in big, cursive letters on the dance floor. The venue, an expansive space with arched ceilings and ornate chandeliers, is no doubt a popular spot for wedding ceremonies, but Majestic Entertainment?s team has gone above and beyond to make the space unique to the bride and groom.

This quest to personalize each event is what fuels the decisions of Majestic Entertainment?s photographers, videographers, DJs, emcees, and lighting technicians. Their services include live music, photography, and lighting design and were awarded WeddingWire?s Bride?s Choice award in 2011, 2012, and 2013.

570 Springfield Ave.
Summit,
NJ
US

In town for one performance only, The Fab Four—The Ultimate Beatles Tribute sends audiences on a time-bending trip to the 1960s soundtracked by the lads from Liverpool’s greatest hits and die-hard fan favorites. Emceed by an actor channeling Ed Sullivan, the multimedia production boasts a talented cast showing off their uncanny impersonations of John, Paul, George, and MacGyver. Live note-for-note re-creations of the group’s classic hits include renditions of “Can’t Buy Me Love,” “Yesterday,” “A Day in the Life,” and “Hey Jude.” With three costume changes, the show covers the Beatles' developing style, from the early days through Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band to their brief stint as country band Uncle Ringo and the Hungry Blues. The touring production plays the palatial St. George Theatre, where the baroque furnishings offer plenty of murals, tiled fountains, and sculpted figures to keep eyes entertained before the show.

35 Hyatt St
Staten Island,
NY
US

It can be hard to find craft beer from all over the country in one place, unless you're at Big Brew NY, which introduces attendees to more than 250 craft beers from breweries such as Flying Dog Brewing from Maryland, Bell's Brewery from Michigan, and Stone Brewing Co. from California. With such a wide array of regional styles and unlimited tastings in four-ounce souvenir glasses, chances are good that visitors will find something they haven't tried before, especially if they have amnesia. To complement all the suds, the festival features live entertainment and tasty food, including beer-infused hors d?oeuvres served to VIP ticket-holders.

430 Western Avenue
Morristown,
NJ
US

Runny tofu. Limp lettuce. Bland steamed vegetables. That's how a lot of people view vegan food, and The Seed: A Vegan Experience's founder Harvey Fung was no exception. But that opinion changed in 2011. That's when the avid muay thai practitioner and owner of 82Mercer saw the documentary Forks Over Knives, which set him on his path to veganism and led him to discover that vegan cuisine can be hearty, satisfying, and, most importantly for a foodie like him, decadent and delicious. In fact, it's not unusual for him to have a slice or two of moist chocolate layer cake that leaves him "sated and happy" and able to walk past traditional patisseries without licking the window.

After realizing that his discovery couldn't be kept to himself, Fung decided to share his love of vegan fare with The Seed: A Vegan Experience, an endeavor to reach out to vegans, omnivores who really like tempeh, and vegetable skeptics all at once with inspiring talks, cooking lessons, and samples from NYC restaurants and earth-friendly vendors. The proceeds from the event will benefit two nonprofit organizations: The New York Coalition for Healthy School Fund, an organization that works to improve the health of New York's students statewide, and Mercy for Animals, a national organization dedicated to preventing animal cruelty.

82 Mercer Street, 2nd Floor
New York,
NY
US

A passionate project of the nonprofit American Friends of the Ludwig Foundation of Cuba, Havana Film Festival showcases respected and rising voices hailing from Cuban and other Latin-American communities. The festival's executive director, Carole Rosenberg, and film programmer Diana Vargas helm a dedicated staff, who draw cinematic works from countries such as Argentina, El Salvador, and Peru. Their collection of numerous features, shorts, documentaries, and classic Latin movies graces the screens of venues throughout the city, many for the very first time in the United States.

English subtitles assist non-native speakers in following the action, and panel discussions and postscreening Q&As afford audiences a behind-the-scenes glance at the global film industry. The panels also engage the filmmakers and explore new cinematic innovations, such as 5-D movies that rock audiences to sleep by their favorite stars. The festival annually pays tribute to influential actors and directors within the Latino film community.

34 West 13th Street
New York,
NY
US