Elizabeth is unlike any other city thanks to our unique culture, and you’ll notice that as soon as you lay eyes on our historic city by the bay. It’s in the food we cook, the festivals we host, the art we make, and the music we play.
Elizabeth was founded in 1664 and played a pivotal role in the American Revolution. While history remains a big part of our city’s identity, Elizabeth is also what it is today thanks to our large immigrant population. With more than 50 countries represented in our New Jersey city, we’ve become a cultural hub featuring an international dining scene, culture-filled events, and diverse music venues.
Given our close proximity to large metropolitan cities like New York and Philadelphia, Elizabeth may seem an unlikely destination for music, arts, and culture, but we’ve got tons to offer in that department. Take a look for yourself.
Whether you’re a concert-goer or classical music lover, there’s something in Elizabeth for you. The historic Ritz Theatre and Performing Arts Center, for example, hosts Latin music concerts and artists year-round. Built in the 1920s, the fully restored theater, which still features its original art deco design, has hosted iconic artists like Maya Angelou and Miles Davis. Another fun music spot in town is Sabor y Arte, a Columbian restaurant with two locations serving up a wide variety of Latin American dishes and live Latin music performances. For classical ears, Kean Stage at Kean University holds music ensemble concerts. Nearby is the Prudential Center in Newark, which hosts Top 40 artists, and there’s also the New Jersey Performing Arts Center.
Whether you’re surrounded by local artwork at The Snyder Academy of Elizabethtown or watching a ballet performance on the Kean Stage, you’ll realize that the arts are serious business here in Elizabeth. Upping our cool factor is the fact that most of our theatre and performing arts centers are located inside of historical landmarks. The Snyder Academy, for example, is one of the oldest historical sites in Elizabeth dating back to our city’s founding. Among other things, the center features an art studio showcasing the modern work of local artists.
Our city is also home to the Liberty Hall Museum & Academic Center, which exhibits the art and culture of a bygone era. Liberty Hall houses a collection of historical items, including furniture and ceramics, that showcase more than 240 years of American history. Our town sure knows how to combine the past and present to create beautiful art.
Elizabeth is home to many different types of cultures and ethnicities and that’s even more evident by the long list of cultural festivals and parades that occur within city limits year-round. Celebrate all things Portuguese at our long-running Portugal Day Parade or learn how to dance salsa at the Puerto Rican Parade and Festival. Eat authentic cuisine at both the Peruvian and Cuban Day parades. And don’t forget about the Peterstown Cultural Festival. The list is endless.
So what are you waiting for? Come see what we’re all about.