QUEENS — It would be hard to imagine summer in Jamaica without its annual arts and music festival.
The two-day open-air Jamaica Arts and Music Summer Festival is returning to the neighborhood this weekend for the 17th time with a concert R&B artist Libra Sene and a climbing wall for kids, among other attractions, the organizers said.
“It’s huge,” said Tyra Emerson, executive director for Cultural Collaborative Jamaica, one of the organizers.
Emerson said every year the event attracts at least 150,000 people who get to know local artists and vendors and shop along Jamaica Avenue, which on Saturday will be partially closed off to traffic (between Parsons Boulevard and 170th Street).
“The goal is to link the arts to economic development,” Emerson said about the festival, which was originated in 1996.
During the festival’s "Under The Stars" segment — which will take over Rufus King Park on Friday, August 2 — Jamaica residents will listen to indie music, as well as jazz, R&B, rock and funk.
On Saturday, Aug. 3, the festival will move to Jamaica Avenue with several booths offering local food, back-to-school deals, jewelry and other products.
There will also be concerts and Zumba classes. A "kids block," between 168th to 170th streets, will include rides, a mini basketball court and a climbing wall.
"Under The Stars at Rufus King Park" is scheduled for August 2, bet. 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. The JAMS Festival will continue on Saturday, August 3, on Jamaica Avenue from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. For more information go here.