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Every festival worth going to this summer in NYC

Written by
Time Out New York contributors

All outdoor music festivals aside, there are tons of other celebrations covering everything from wine and BBQ to Italian and Chinese cultures happening this summer. We don't want you to miss out on a single one, but since time is of the essence, we decided to round up the absolute, can't-miss festivals of the season. Oh, yeah. Summer in New York is just one big party. 

RECOMMENDED: Best things to do this summer 


The Giglio Feast of Saint Antonio
Mama Mia! This twelve-day celebration of Italian culture in Williamsburg has everything: Live entertainment, delicious grub, dancing and a traditional live theater performance/procession. The main attraction is the five-story tower—the Giglio—and the twelve-piece brass band, which is carried on the shoulders of a 122 dancing men. Check out members of the Vecchiano Festival Band perform during the march. Our Lady of Mount Carmel, 275 N 8th St, Brooklyn (; Wed 6–July 17 at various times; free.

Whiskey Fried Classic
Wear your stretchy pants to this touring tribute to Southern foods and strong spirits. Taste barbecued and fried bites from Bareburger, Sweet Chili, Daisy May’s and the Donutologist, and wash ’em down with some of the country’s best whiskeys. Brooklyn bands fiddle and strum to keep you dancing (and from falling into a food coma). Brooklyn Expo Center, 72 Noble St, Brooklyn (718-775-3315, Sat 9 1:30–4pm, 6:30–9pm; $85.

Festival of Kites and Kayaks
Lie back and bask in sunshine on the grass at Socrates Sculpture Park, where kite-making–workshop students build sophisticated paper planes from recycled materials and then let ’em fly. Make sure to take a break from looking skyward between 11:30am and 1pm to watch an armada of kayaks charge up the East River, as part of the 2016 Manhattan Kayak Circumnavigation. 32-01 Vernon Blvd, Queens (718-956-1819, Sat 9 11am–3pm; free.

Arab-American and North African Street Festival
Eat like royalty at this joyous street fest of Arab-American culture, where you can try traditional delicacies like Moroccan b’steeya meat pies, Lebanese kanafeh cheese pastries, fried eggplant, falafel and more. While local and international performers take the stage, you can buy jewelry and art and get henna designs applied to your skin. Great Jones St between Broadway and Lafayette St ( Sat 9 11am–4pm; free.

Wear pink and white to this hard-core celebration of the pink stuff, where the lawns of Governors Island are decked out in rosé-hued blankets. Guests can bring snacks or opt for a picnic basket by chef Chris Santos ($65 to $85) to enjoy during live sets by Miami Horror, Claptone and other performers. Ferry rides are included with your ticket, so no matter how tipsy you get, you have a way home. Ferries depart from Battery Maritime Building, 10 South St, every hour ( Sat 9, Sun 10 noon–6pm; $65–$85.

Fresh Fruit Festival
An array of juicy LGBT produce drips down your chin in full-length theater works as well as dance pieces, musicals a couple poetry readings. Artists come from all around the world to show off their art. Make sure to visit for a complete lineup. The Wild Project, 195 E 3rd St (; Jul 11–24 at various times; various prices.

Uncorked Wine Festival
National wine fest series Uncorked—which has hosted events in San Francisco, Chicago and Phoenix, to name a few—brings its vinotopia to New York. Sample more than 100 wines provided by more than 50 wineries from across the globe, including Taittinger from France and Napa Valley's St. Supéry. Go crazy for bubbly at the Champagne bar, or test your palate at the blind tasting bar. A food bazaar features pairing-friendly snacks from the likes of Murray's Cheese and East Coast Poke. Spring for VIP admission to get an extra hour of tasting and access to some exclusive wines. Metropolitan Pavilion, 125 W 18th St (; Jul 16 2–6pm; $60–$70.

Jamaican Jerk Festival
The city’s biggest Caribbean eat-athon returns for its sixth year to Queens’ Roy Wilkins Park, attracting an estimated 20,000 famished folks. The fest boasts offerings from more than 20 vendors in the food village, a jerk cook-off and plenty of reggae and soca bands to keep you grooving. Roy Wilkins Park, 177th St and Baisley Blvd (; Jul 17 noon–8pm; $40.

OZY Fusion Fest
Get ready, New York—we have another brand-spankin’-new festival to look forward to this summer! The one-day event is jam-packed with entertainment ranging from music and comedy bits to thought provoking political and tech innovation discussions. Best of all? The all-star lineup includes heavyweights like Broad City girls Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer, musical performances by, Wyclef Jean and Andra Day as well as panels with Bill Gates, Senator Cory Booker and more. Central Park, Rumsey Playfield, enter at Fifth Ave and 72nd St ( Jul 23 10:30am–9pm; $35–$75.

NYC Poetry Festival
Frolic through your weekend with a full two-days of verse readings, featuring local poets from reading series such as the Poetry Brothel. Snag a patch of grass on Governors Island and enjoy the artistry in the summer sun. See the website for a full schedule. Governors Island, Colonels Row (; Jul 30, Jul 31 at 11am; free.


Dragon Boat Festival
Celebrate the traditional Chinese holiday with a medley of events and attractions for the whole family. Head to Flushing Meadows Park early to stake out a good viewing spot for the opening day parade on Saturday at noon, and check out cool performances courtesy the Shaolin Monks.  There will be craft tables and workshops, where you can learn Mandarin or take a stag at silkscreen printing. When the festival fatigue sits in, grab some tasty ethnic cuisine at the food court. The actual US Dragon Boat Open Championship Race takes place on Sunday. Flushing Meadows Park (; Aug 6, Aug 7; free.

Fringe Festival
Make sure to check out this 16-day spectacular, chock-full of incredible theater, dance and more performances. This year’s 20th edition includes 200 offerings that covers everything from musicals and classic revivals to experimental and brand-new plays. Word to the wise: Get your tickets ASAP—they’ll sell out before you can say “Show time. “Various locations ( Aug 12–28; $18.

Hudson River Park’s Blues and BBQ
For its 17th year, Hudson River Park is brining its A-game for another Blues boogie fest with all the finger-licking BBQ you can stomach. Listen to some of NYC’s best Roots musicians while digging into some grub from popular ’cue eateries like Arrogant Swine and Dinosaur Bar-B-Que. Warning: You might catch the meat sweats. Hudson River Park, Pier 97 ( Aug 20 2–9pm; free.


Pig Island
At this seventh annual porkfest, 25 of Gotham's top pitmasters will break down and ’cue up 30 whole heritage hogs from Flying Pigs Farm. Feast on all-you-can-stomach porcine offerings like a Filipino lechon-style roasted pig by Tito King's Kitchen Chef King Phojanakong and Copenhagen Street Dog's Danish pølse slathered in fiery Nordic ketchup, deviled egg cream and a jalapeño coleslaw. New to this year's festival is a craft beer and whiskey tent, pouring unlimited hops and hooch from purveyors like High West, Van Brunt Stillhouse and Sixpoint Brewery. Ikea Erie Basin Park, 1 Beard St, Brooklyn ( Sept 10 11:30am–4pm; $85.


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