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
March your way over to Rockaway Beach for a pre-St. Patrick’s Day Parade the first Saturday in March. The Annual Parade kicks off at 1pm (130th St and Newport Ave) with grand marshals including congressman and respected community members. Early birds can attend a mass for peace and justice at St. Francis de Sales church (129th St and Rockaway Beach Blvd) at 10:30am.
No St. Patrick's Day in NYC would be complete without staking out a spot at this parade, which makes another glorious march up Fifth Avenue. (The event is even older than the United States; it was started by a group of homesick Irish conscripts from the British army in 1762.) More than 2 million onlookers are expected to show up for the annual spectacle. Fifth Ave from 44th St to 79th St.
The British first conquered New York City right in Brooklyn Heights, and centuries later the Irish American Parade Committee still commemorates the 42nd anniversary of the Battle of Brooklyn (as many of the committee members’ forefathers were involved in that war) and celebrates Irish-American contributions to New York City. At 12:45pm, the procession also honors the heroes and victims of 9/11.
Wear white and brace yourself for four stories of rainbow delight as Holi, the Hindu festival of colors, hits NYC. Dance in kaleidoscopic ecstasy with hundreds of strangers while you get covered in tinted powders, and enjoy hors d’oeuvres, a cash bar and live music. There’s no more cheerful way to usher in springtime.
Art lovers flock to Randalls Island Park for this dreamy display of works from 130 international galleries—and the view of Manhattan ain’t bad either. Take the ferry or the bus over to the island (buy advance tickets online if you can), and plan to spend some serious time immersing yourself in the imaginative projects found both indoors and out.