On Sunday, April 17, 1 PM – 6 PM, parts of Nassau and Witherspoon Streets and Palmer Square will be closed off to traffic to make way for Communiversity ArtsFest. This collaboration of town and gown hosted by the Arts Council of Princeton is the biggest festival in town and attracts over 35,000 people.
It’s a festival of the arts, so live performances on six stages are scheduled. Bands are often set up around the library and on Nassau Street. Dancers will also be performing. Local students draw works of art in chalk on the ground at the Tiger Park section of Palmer Square, usually across from Ann Taylor.
There will be lots of food stalls, because what’s a festival without goodies to eat? Besides the typical truck of funnel cakes and popcorn, there will be a wide variety of mouth-watering cuisines to indulge in like barbecue, Thai, paella, and other food from around the globe. Drinks will range from beer to loose leaf iced tea. Some people attend just for the food.
Restaurants, non-profits, the volunteer fire department, retailers, summer camps, and more totaling over 200 booths will be in town. Princeton University students have activities and performances on campus.
Traffic will be a nightmare, and parking will be scarce, so if you don’t come very early, avoid crossing Nassau Street. Also, if you’re traveling south on Witherspoon street, try to park before Quarry Street, and don’t attempt to get close to Palmer Square. If you do arrive early, you can park in the Spring Street and Chambers Street garages, as well as the North Garage, Ivy Lane parking lots, and West Garage on campus. A good option if coming from the north is to park at the Princeton Shopping Center (in the unpaved lot next to the Princeton First Aid and Rescue Squad) or the Municipal Building/Pool parking lot and take the free shuttle to Witherspoon and Wiggins. It will run on a loop from 12:30 PM – 6:30 PM. Most importantly, try to carpool if you do drive.