NAVESINK RIVER: ARTIEPALOOZA RETURNS

Pix from the 2013 edition of Artiepalooza, which attracted some 85 vessels at its peak, organizers say. (Photos by Peter Lindner. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Among the incomparable delights of life on our beautiful Navesink River is the floating annual bash now known as Artiepalooza.

Centered in Blossom Cove on the Middletown side of the river, roughly opposite Riverview Medical Center, the daylong, boat-based event returns on Saturday bigger than ever, with six musical acts performing on a “raft” of three vessels tied together, as well as this: a pontoon selling Chilangos Restaurant fish tacos that partygoers can preorder by text message.

And it’s all for a good cause.

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ARTIEPALOOZA ROCKS THE RIVER

Partygoers gathered on dozens of vessels to remember a friend at Saturday’s floating bash on the Navesink dubbed ‘Artiepalooza.’ (Photos by Peter Lindner. Click to enlarge)

By NICK MALFITANO

One could hear the unmistakable sound up and down the Navesink River Saturday afternoon; American rock n’ roll. Sun peeked through the clouds as dozens of partygoers gathered in Blossom Cove on the river’s Middletown side to enjoy food, drink and live music at a floating party.

It could only be Artiepalooza.

The boat bash served as both a fundraiser – for David’s Dream & Believe Cancer Foundation, an organization that provides financial assistance to those affected by cancer – and a tribute to the memory of 51-year-old Arthur “Artie” Natsis of Middletown. The event, known as “Baaaquapalooza” during its first two incarnations last summer, was renamed in Natsis’ honor after he died from cancer in April.

“Everyone’s having a great time,” said Natsis’ widow, Feli Donato-Natsis, whose first name is pronounced ‘Filly.’ “I counted about 35 boats here. Some knew about the party, and others came from word of mouth. All our friends rented the only two pontoon boats in the area to be here.”

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