From street-shuttering parades to eye-catching art fairs, we collect the biggest celebrations and the best festivals happening around town.
Best festivals and fairs
This open-air bazaar is Queens’ answer to the Brooklyn Flea, as both markets offer a wide array of retro wares and antiques, finger-licking–delicious eats and gorgeous skyline views that could bring a tear to the eye of the most jaded New Yorker. But it certainly pays to take a train or ferry to enjoy the Flea’s all-Queens Beer and Wine Garden, which serves eight beers from spots like SingleCut Beersmiths and Queens Brewery; the suds come in handy when you need to wash down Butcher Bar’s wood-smoked BBQ and red velvet funnel cake from A Lil’ Bit of Fun. More like a Lil’ Bit of yum, right?Read more
This city tradition feels fresh every spring when artists following in the footsteps of Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning set up shop in the park. Hundreds of exhibitors, from NYU students to artists who remember the Village as a creative enclave, display their paintings, sculptures, photography, jewelry and woodcraft.Read more
New York’s open-late market features a range of international grub, art and merchandise from up to 100 vendors, as well as free performances—think Hawaiian dance troupes and Bollywood dancers—to keep folks entertained. Our favorite part (besides the $5 price cap on tasty bites like tater twists, takoyaki, fried ice cream and, er, Trinidadian shark sandwiches) is the hours. You can shop, dine and chug a beer (or five) at the brand-new beer garden from 6pm until well after the sun goes down.Read more
After five brilliant years in Williamsburg, Brooklyn Flea moved down the waterfront to Pearl Plaza in Dumbo, just beneath the Manhattan Bridge. A new location wasn’t the only major change; the market has shrunk to roughly 75 vendors, but you’ll find a familiar kick-ass assortment of antiques, furniture, clothing, artwork and jewelry. Don’t weep too much, Williamsburg residents; Smorgasburg still has tasty food options presented at the East River State Park every Saturday (11am to 6pm), or you can venture to Prospect Park for its Sunday residency (11am to 6pm).Read more
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 for vendors stationed along Eastern Parkway selling island eats like jerk chicken, curry goat and oxtail. Early risers can preparty at J’ouvert (pronounced “joo-VAY”), a predawn festival in which revelers throw powdered paint at each other. Head to Grand Army Plaza around 4am when the high jinks really get going. Eastern Pkwy from Schenectady Ave to Flatbush Ave, Crown Heights, Brooklyn. Subway: 3, 4, 5 to Crown Hts-Utica Ave.Read more
Forgive the analogy, but unicycles are the Nickelback of the cycling world: misunderstood by many but cherished by a select few who love them more than anything else. Enjoy four-days of one-wheel madness including a 13-mile unicycle ride from the Brooklyn Bridge to Coney Island, Battery Park to Central Park and a bunch of events that take place on Governors Island. There you’ll find races, freestyle competitions and even unicycle sports including basketball, hockey and even—not making this up—unicycle sumo wrestling.Read more