New York's best festivals: The city's top parades, fairs and fetes

Whether you're a cinéaste, a foodie or just looking for a good party, check out our rundown of NYC's best festivals.

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From street-shuttering parades to eye-catching art fairs, we collect the biggest celebrations and the best festivals happening around town.

The Fourth Annual NYC Poetry Festival

  • Critics choice
  • Free

For the last three years, poetry reading series and poetically minded organizations—from NYC and beyond—have taken over Governors Island for two days, creating a stage for both celebrated and up-and-coming poets. This year, the crew of the

  1. Governors Island Colonels Row Governors Island
  2. Sun Jul 27
More info

Summer Streets

  • Critics choice
  • Free

For this three-Saturday event, nearly seven miles of NYC turf from the Brooklyn Bridge all the way to the Upper East Side are cleared of vehicles, creating a pedestrian paradise complete with food and entertainment. This edition’s offerings

  1. Various locations
  2. Sat Aug 2 - Sat Aug 16
More info

West Indian-American Day Carnival

  • Critics choice
  • Free

This Caribbean celebration, known for having lively music and lots of skin, is never short on costumed stilt dancers, floats blaring soca and calypso music, and plenty of flags from countries such as Barbados, Jamaica, and Trinidad and Tobago. Look

  1. Brooklyn
  2. Mon Sep 1
More info

Coney Island Sand Sculpting Contest

  • Critics choice
  • Free

This Coney Island competition is open to experienced artists and amateurs alike; would-be Michelangelos can register online at coneyislandfunguide.com or in person on the day. There are individual and group categories for both adults and children,

  1. Coney Island Boardwalk Boardwalk, at 10th St
  2. Sat Aug 16
More info

Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival

  • Critics choice
  • Free

Legend has it that on the fifth day of the fifth moon of the lunar calendar in 278 B.C., the Chinese poet Qu Yuan drowned himself in the Miluo River in Hunan province. To prevent evil water spirits from consuming their hero’s body, local fishermen

  1. Flushing Meadows–Corona Park 111th St to Van Wyck Expwy, between Flushing Bay and Grand Central Pkwy
  2. Sat Aug 9 - Sun Aug 10
More info

Afropunk Fest

  • Critics choice

This annual Fort Greene fest—a celebration of black music in all its many forms—presents its finest lineup yet, encompassing forward-thinking R&B (D'Angelo, Meshell Ndegeocello), cutting-edge hip-hop (Shabazz Palaces, the Internet), riff-happy

  1. Commodore Barry Park Navy St, between Flushing and Park Aves
  2. Sat Aug 23 - Sun Aug 24
Buy tickets

Richmond County Fair

  • Critics choice

Grab the fam and head to Historic Richmond Town, a preserved museum-village dating from the late 17th century, for its 34th annual county fair. Three stages of live music, puppetry, dance performances and rides are sure to entertain. Plus, check out

  1. Historic Richmond Town 441 Clarke Ave, at St. Patricks Pl
  2. Mon Sep 1
More info

Chile Pepper Fiesta

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

Heat-seeking capsaicin lovers won’t want to miss this fiery festival. Tour the pepper plants in the Brooklyn Botanic Garden's Herb Garden and ignite your palate with gratis tasting samples, including hot sauces, chili-infused chocolates (from the

  1. Brooklyn Botanic Garden 990 Washington Ave, at President St
  2. Sat Sep 27
More info

World Maker Faire 2013

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

Creators of all ages and stripes convene at this geeky gathering, which is now in its fourth year. More than 650 creators will show off their inventions—such as origami earrings and a battery-less universal remote—while instructing visitors on

  1. New York Hall of Science 47-01 111th St, at 47th Ave, 11368
  2. Sat Sep 20 - Sun Sep 21
More info

Tompkins Square Park Halloween Dog Parade

  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

The Village Halloween Parade is fun and all, but does it have a plethora of puppies in adorable outfits? For that, you’ll have to head to the East Village for this annual dog parade. The getups are remarkably elaborate and conceptual—no surprise

  1. Tompkins Square Park Ave A, between 7th and 10th Sts
  2. Sat Oct 25
More info

NYC Unicycle Festival

  • Critics choice
  • Free

Bindlestiff Family Cirkus presents three days of one-wheeled races, games and exhibitions. Demonstrate your cycling prowess on a 13-mile ride from City Hall to Coney Island in honor of Brooklyn Unicycle Day (Aug 31 at 3pm; unibridgetour.info). On

  1. Governors Island Governors Island
  2. Sat Aug 30 - Sun Aug 31
More info

Queens County Fair

  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

Get a little rural living without leaving the city limits at the 31st iteration of this down-home festival. For two days, the Queens County Farm Museum will become even more agrarian than usual with livestock competitions, pie-eating contests,

  1. Queens County Farm Museum 73-50 Little Neck Pkwy, between 73rd Rd and 74th Ave
  2. Sat Sep 20 - Sun Sep 21
More info

11th Annual Small, Small Press Fair

  • Critics choice
  • Free

How small is a small, small press? Find out today as these tiny publishers present their goods and feature their authors, like Joseph Riipi, Tracy Dimond, Olemadebo Fatunde and Mike Young. Stop by any time; readings take place throughout the day.

  1. Unnameable Books 600 Vanderbilt Ave, at St. Marks Ave, 11238
  2. Sat Aug 2
More info

Halloween Harvest Festival

  • Critics choice
  • Free

Fashion your own costume to resemble Fido’s at this daylong holiday primer. Four-legged family members can compete in the Canine Costume Contest while their two-legged counterparts create their own getups on-site with the help of resident artists.

  1. Socrates Sculpture Park 32-01 Vernon Blvd, at Broadway
  2. Sat Oct 25
More info

Little Red Lighthouse Festival

  • Critics choice
  • Free

Celebrate the last remaining lighthouse in Manhattan, and the subject of the 1942 children's book The Little Red Lighthouse and the Great Gray Bridge, at this fest. You can tour the beacon, get a clinic on river fishing and hear live music.

  1. Fort Washington Park Riverside Dr, between 155th and 179th Sts
  2. Sat Oct 11
More info

House Party

  • Critics choice

Would you get a look at this lineup? Holy heavyweights, Batman. The weekly hip-hop party features a different style on each of Webster Hall's four floors. In the Grand Ballroom, Just Blaze, DJ Soul, Brenmar and their pals bring the hits; after-dark

  1. Webster Hall 125 E 11th St, between Third and Fourth Aves
  2. Thu Jul 31
More info

House Party

  • Critics choice

Would you get a look at this lineup? Holy heavyweights, Batman. The weekly hip-hop party features a different style on each of Webster Hall's four floors. In the Grand Ballroom, Just Blaze, DJ Soul, Brenmar and their pals bring the hits; after-dark

  1. Webster Hall 125 E 11th St, between Third and Fourth Aves
  2. Thu Aug 7
More info

House Party

  • Critics choice

Would you get a look at this lineup? Holy heavyweights, Batman. The weekly hip-hop party features a different style on each of Webster Hall's four floors. In the Grand Ballroom, Just Blaze, DJ Soul, Brenmar and their pals bring the hits; after-dark

  1. Webster Hall 125 E 11th St, between Third and Fourth Aves
  2. Thu Aug 14
More info

House Party

  • Critics choice

Would you get a look at this lineup? Holy heavyweights, Batman. The weekly hip-hop party features a different style on each of Webster Hall's four floors. In the Grand Ballroom, Just Blaze, DJ Soul, Brenmar and their pals bring the hits; after-dark

  1. Webster Hall 125 E 11th St, between Third and Fourth Aves
  2. Thu Aug 21
More info

House Party

  • Critics choice

Would you get a look at this lineup? Holy heavyweights, Batman. The weekly hip-hop party features a different style on each of Webster Hall's four floors. In the Grand Ballroom, Just Blaze, DJ Soul, Brenmar and their pals bring the hits; after-dark

  1. Webster Hall 125 E 11th St, between Third and Fourth Aves
  2. Thu Aug 28
More info

House Party

  • Critics choice

Would you get a look at this lineup? Holy heavyweights, Batman. The weekly hip-hop party features a different style on each of Webster Hall's four floors. In the Grand Ballroom, Just Blaze, DJ Soul, Brenmar and their pals bring the hits; after-dark

  1. Webster Hall 125 E 11th St, between Third and Fourth Aves
  2. Thu Sep 4
More info
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Users say

4 comments
dontjokelikethis
dontjokelikethis

To the Editors of TimeOut " Calling Columbus the most Famous Failures in History " Who u Editor Think he is to Judge Columbus ?? U arrogance Stink and ur Glorious Mental Ambition of calling ur Self a Judge to Say Columbus a Failure u are total Ignorant and Retarded

Catherine
Catherine

Check this out its a ton of activities. Diana.

Karen K.
Karen K.

Hey TONY staff, Don't forget to stop by the HARVEST ARTS FESTIVAL IN THE GARDENS, which is taking place October 5-7 in 24 community gardens below 14th Street. Each participating garden is designing its own unique and multidimensional arts program, and it’s going to be a very eclectic mix of music, dance, performance, and visual arts and workshops—from jazz to comedy to making mud balls to an art rumble competition. The Festival is free and open to all. For festival updates, visit www.LUNGSNYC.org.

fazeela
fazeela

hey this is the run down