The week's best festivals: Sept 29--Oct 5, 2011

The city is overrun with fun festivals this weekend---let us help you decide which ones to hit.

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  • Photograph: Dani Boynton

    New York Burlesque Festival

    New York Burlesque Festival

  • Photograph: Courtesy Mary Ivy Martin

    Art in Odd Places

    Art in Odd Places

  • Photograph: Jason Gardner

    Chile Pepper Fiesta

    Chile Pepper Fiesta

  • Photograph: Courtesy Washington Heights and Inwood Development Corp.

    Medieval Festival

    27th Annual Medieval Festival

  • Photograph: Tom Callan

    Atlantic Antic Street Festival

    Atlantic Antic Street Festival

Photograph: Dani Boynton

New York Burlesque Festival

New York Burlesque Festival

The Ninth Annual New York Burlesque Festival
Thursday 29--Sunday 2
The gist: Burly-Q babes from across the globe strut their stuff during this celebration of the art of the tease. Among the glitter-bedecked stars who'll swing their tassels are Hollywood-based Bobbie Burlesque, Chicago's Dolls of Doom and New York's own Darlinda Just Darlinda.
Don't miss: The World Famous *BOB* hosts a teaser party, where you can mingle with performers, shop for sexy duds at a pop-up boutique or have a boudoir-style photo taken. The Golden Pastie Awards round out the event: The titular items will be doled out to festival performers in a variety of categories, including Positively Perfect Posterior and Most Likely to Win RuPaul's Drag Race
Where to go: Locations, times and prices vary; visit thenewyorkburlesquefestival.com for details.

Art in Odd Places
Saturday 1--October 10
The gist: Keep an eye on 14th Street—the thoroughfare turns into a massive alfresco gallery during this annual arts bonanza. More than 60 artists contributed pieces that examine the theme of ritual to the event, which was curated by Trinidad Fombella of El Museo del Barrio and Kalia Brooks of MoCADA.
Don't miss: We like Daniel Bejar's Get Lost!, in which the artist will change subway maps and signs to reflect what they may have looked like before the city was colonized in 1609. Some pieces call for audience participation: In Union Square Clean, by Rob Andrews, bystanders are invited to clean the feet of black-clad strangers, who are strategically placed throughout the park.
Where to go: 14th St between Ave C and the Hudson River (artinoddplaces.org). Times vary; free.

Chile Pepper Fiesta
Saturday 1
The gist: Test your capsaicin-ingesting prowess at this annual affair, during which spicy-food providers (including Brooklyn Salsa Company, Sour Puss Pickles and Bhut Pepper) show off their most incendiary wares. In addition to enjoying the hot food, you can hear tunes from bands like the Lost Bayou Ramblers, or pick up peppers at a farm stand staffed by Viviano Family Farm from Cutchogue, New York.
Don't miss: Sample a pseudo--black and tan at the Chocolate Bar, blending Oregon craft brewers Rogue Ales's Chipotle Ale and Chocolate Stout. Plus, food-competition guru Matt Timms will host a special Chocolate-and-Chili Takedown, with past challengers (including Queens-bred cook-off whiz Adrian Ashby and blogging team the Brooklynauts) competing for fiery glory.
Where to go: Brooklyn Botanic Garden, 900 Washington Ave at Eastern Pkwy, Prospect Heights, Brooklyn (718-623-7200, bbg.org). 11am--6pm; $10--15.

27th Annual Medieval Festival at Fort Tryon Park
Sunday 2
The gist: Could there be a more appropriate venue than Fort Tryon Park—home to the Cloisters, which is devoted to art from the Middle Ages—for this olde-tyme feste? We think not. Different areas of the green space transform into a medieval market, filled with artisans and performers in Medieval Times--worthy attire. 
Don't miss: Watch as craftsmen create tools used during the Middle Ages, including a blacksmith hammering out swords and armor. Stick around to see four knights in full armor whale on each other, A Knight's Tale--style, during a late-afternoon jousting match.
Where to go: Fort Tryon Park, Margaret Corbin Circle, Fort Washington Ave at Cabrini Blvd (212-795-1600, whidc.org). Noon--6pm; free.

Atlantic Antic Street Festival
Sunday 2
The gist: The busy Brooklyn artery closes down for this outdoor extravaganza, billed as New York City's largest street fair. But there's more to see here than dudes hawking socks and Mozzarepas: Among the diverse offerings are live music performances, a Uniqlo pop-up shop and a booth where you can win tickets to Broadway shows. 
Don't miss: Sample treats from neighborhood restaurants, including Sahadi's and Colonie, or drink up during a Sixpoint-sponsored pub crawl. The New York Transit Museum will also present its annual Bus Festival, just around the corner on Boerum Place, where you can explore vintage vehicles.
Where to go: Atlantic Ave from Hicks St to Fourth Ave, Brooklyn (718-875-8993, atlanticave.org). Noon--6pm; free.

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