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.

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

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

Bargemusic Labor Day Festival

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

A welcome tradition of relatively recent vintage, the Bargemusic Labor Day Festival is a multinight celebration of new and recent music, played by outstanding performers and accentuating American music, largely if not exclusively. Composers

  1. Bargemusic Fulton Ferry Landing, at Furman and Old Fulton Sts
  2. Fri Aug 29 - Sun Aug 31
More info

Great North River Tugboat Race & Competition

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  • Free

See tugboats parade from Pier 84 to the 79th Street Boat Basin then race back at the 21st annual iteration of this maritime fest. Participate in an amateur line-toss contest, and witness the Popeye-inspired spinach-eating contest. Those interested

  1. Hudson River Park at Pier 84 W 44th St, at the Hudson River
  2. Sun Aug 31
More info

Dumbo Arts Festival

  • Critics choice
  • Free

The already art-forward northern Brooklyn ’hood pulls out all the stops during this three-day fest, featuring works by 300-plus contemporary artists. Ahead of the one-year anniversary of Hurricane Sandy, Lillian Gerson’s pop-up recording studio,

  1. Various locations
  2. Fri Sep 26 - Sun Sep 28
More info

En Avant! An Evening with Tennessee Williams

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

Sit down and get comfortable as you listen to the life story of Tennessee Williams, delivered as a delightful front-porch chat that any Williams fan will appreciate. Writer-performer William Shuman has distilled Williams’s private journals into an

  1. 158 W 72nd St, between Columbus Ave and Broadway
  2. $30
  3. Tue Sep 2
Buy tickets

Village Halloween Parade

  • Critics choice
  • Free

This year's theme is the Garden of Earthly Delights, and the parade will embrace all of the nature in New York that makes our city so wild. They'll be joined by the awe-inspiring puppets created by Superior Concept Monsters, the Madagascar

  1. Manhattan
  2. Fri Oct 31
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

Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

  • Critics choice
  • Free

For the 88th year, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade will usher in the holiday season with familiar sights like giant balloons, high-kicking Rockettes and Santa’s sleigh, plus celebrity appearances. Begins at W 77th St and Central Park West;

  1. Manhattan
  2. Thu Nov 27
More info

Richmond County Fair

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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

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

Lantern Floating for Peace

  • Critics choice
  • Free

Take part in a modern Shinnyo-en Buddhist lantern ceremony by building, decorating and floating your own lamp on a pond inside Trump Rink. While similar ceremonies are held annually in places like Japan and Hawaii, this is the first for NYC, where

  1. Hearst Plaza (at Lincoln Center) W 65th St, at Columbus Ave
  2. Sun Sep 21
More info

Bushwig

  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

A cavalcade of drag stars and other artists is scheduled to appear at this annual gender-bending fest. Diversions include performances, food, games and much more. When things wrap up, follow the horde to various after-parties.

  1. Secret Project Robot 389 Melrose St, between Flushing and Knickerbocker Aves
  2. Sat Sep 6 - Sun Sep 7
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

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

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

FringeNYC Encore Series

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

Think the Fringe Festival is over? Not by a long shot! Twenty-one shows, including some of the fest's very best, have extended their runs, split between the Baruch Performing Arts Center (soloworks) SoHo Playhouse (larger productions). For our

  1. Various locations
  2. Thu Sep 4 - Sun Oct 5
Buy tickets

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

Chinese New Year Firecracker Ceremony and Cultural Festival

  • Critics choice
  • Free

Unfriendly spooks should steer clear of Sara D. Roosevelt Park on the first day of the New Year, when the Better Chinatown Society lights 500,000 firecrackers to welcome the Year of the Goat and ward off evil spirits. In addition to the

  1. Sara D. Roosevelt Park Chrystie St, between Canal and E Houston Sts
  2. Sat Jan 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 28
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