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 The PopSpots Guide to Pop Culture in NYC - Annual NYC Events with a Pop Attitude

A woman on Fifth Avenue in the "Easter Parade" (which is more of a promenade than a parade) in April.

• Top Pop Annual Events by Month (check for exact date) - Plan Your Costume Now!


No Pants Subway Ride (People calmly go to work in their underpants.)


Empire State Building Run-Up (early Feb) (A timed race up 102 floors)
Fashion Week (Activities all over but many in the Village)
Chinese New Year (late Jan/early Feb) (Celebrated on Canal St. near Mott St.; fireworks and dancing dragons)
Westminster Dog Show (Madison Square Garden) Many breeds vieing for "Best in Show")


Saint Patrick's Day Parade (March 17th) (Route: approximately 44th to 86th Street on Fifth Ave.)(bagpipes, shamrocks, and lots of green . . . and politicians)


Easter Parade - (Held a Sunday in late March or early April)(People in extravagantly decorated hats promenade on Fifth Ave in the 50's blocks
Tribeca Film Festival (Downtown's answer to uptown's New York Film Festival. Started after 9/11 by Robert DeNiro.
Pillow Fight NYC Annual large scale free pillow fight in Washington Squae Park. See web for annual details.


Manhattanhenge (This is when the sun sets in alighment with New York's east -west streets. Cool to see from the middle of the street.)
Shakespeare in the Park begins it's season in Central Park's Delacourt Theater. (It runs May to August)


River to River Festival (music, dance, and more from the Hudson east to the East River in downtown Manhattan below Canal Street)
Coney Island Mermaid Parade (Mid June; route: Starts at Surf Ave at West 10th St., Coney Island)(Body-painted mermaids and local floats; usually with a celebrity King and Queen of Parade.)
NYC Pride Parade (i.e. Gay Pride Parade)
(route: Down 5th Ave from 23rd Street to Washington Sq, Park, then west to Sheridan Square)
Victorian Gardens amusement rides opens for the season (June to Sept) in Central Park.
Museum Mile Festival (2nd Tuesday) (Fifth Ave between 82nd and 105th - (7 museums are open free)
Puerto Rican Day Parade (early June) (Salsa dancing and lots of Puerto Rican flags.)


Macy's 4th of July Fireworks (Hudson or East River usually between 14th to 50th Street)(The Big Kahuna)
Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest (July 4th, Coney Island, outside of Nathan's Hot Dog store)(Latest record: 72 hot dogs in 10 minutes)
GIglio Festival: Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church, 275 North 8th St. at Havermeyer St., Williamsburg, Brooklyn. (Annual Italian street celebration since 1903; a 4-ton, 5-story paper-mache "Giglio Tower" is paraded through the streets, carried by 125 men.


Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival (Flushing Meadows- Corna Park, Queens; Mid-August) (each boat usually has 20 paddlers, a drummer, and a steerperson)
U.S. Open Tennis Tournament begins (August-September).(The Grand Slam is one of the big four tournaments: the others are WImbledon, The Australian Open, and the French Open.)
GIglio Festival: Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church, 473 East 115th St. b/t Pleasaent Ave. and 1st Ave. (Annual Italian street celebration; a 4-ton, 5-story paper mache "Giglio Tower" is paraded through the streets, carried by 125 men. Known as "the dancing of the Giglio" (2nd weekend in August)


Fashion Week (Various events all over, many in the Village)
Feast of San Gennaro (Takes place on Mulberry Street from Prince St. to Bayard St.; since 1926)(Italian feast lots of food, drink, and games of skill)
Atlantic Antic Street Fair (Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn)(43 year old annual Street Fair. The largest in Brooklyn)
New York Film Festival (Since 1963: produced by the FIlm Society of Lincoln Center)
West Indian Day Parade - Crown Heights (Columbus Day Weekend - early October) ( A street carnival/parade celebrating Caribbean culture in costume, music, and food.
Tribute in Light - (At sunset each year on 9/11 a light installation of twin beams of light are cast four miles into the sky from a site near the original World Trade Center towers to honor the victims. Can be seen for miles around.)


Open House New York (Tours of usually private places sites all over) (mid-October)
Greenwich Village Halloween Parade (begins at Canal Street, runs up 6th Ave to 23rd Street.)(October 31st) (Over a million people watch: over 50,000 people parade in costume.)
Tompkins Square Halloween Dog Parade (around Tompkins Square Park) (For almost 30 years; hundreds of cute, costumed dogs, often with an eccentric East Village flair)
Columbus Day Parade (2nd Monday) (Route: Fifth Ave from 44th to 86th)(A parade with an Itlaian accent)
The Blessing of the Animals (Cathedral of St John the Divine) (Hundreds of animals from alpaca and parrots to kangaroos and camels have been blessed each year.
New York Comic Con (Jacob Javitz Center, 655 West 11th St. at 11th Ave.)(Early Oct.) (Giant pop-cultural event with costumed participants attracting over 150,00 fans)
Bryant Park Winter Skating opens (Features skate rentals and music ; skating un the lights.)
Central Park Winter Skating opens (In the south section of the park, easily reached.)


New York City Marathon (early November)(The route is 26.2 miles though all five boroughs)
Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade (4th Thursday of November) (You can also see the baloons get blown up the night before befor eon the street next to the Museum of Natural History; go early. )
Holiday Markets (Union Square/Bryant Park) (Over 100 small gift shoppes.)
Rockefeller Center Tree Lighting; ice rink opens. (Semi official beginning of the NYC Holiday season.)
Radio City Music Hall Christmas Show begins (Starring the Rockettes.)


Santa Con (Early December) (Mass bar hoppping in Santa and Elf outfits; the route is online)
Tuba Christmas (Tubas and euponiums played en masse in Rockefeller Center.)
New Year's Eve - Time Square Ball Dropping (December 31st.) (Revelers are separated into "pens" 8 hours before the start so don't drink topo many fluids!)

Tickertape Parades (occasional)

Location: Lower Broadway from Bowling Green to City Hall ("The Canyon of Heroes" )

Since the first tickertape parade in 1886 for the dedication of the Statue of Liberty, New Yorker's have celebrated national and international heroes, foreign dignitaries, astronauts and and champion sports teams with tickertape parades on what is called "the Canyon of Heroes " - lower Broadway from the Battery up to City Hall, where sometimes the honoreee is given the "key" to the city. Actual tickertape used to be used, but that has been replaced by shredded paper and confetti brought in by companies along the parade route. To see the honorees and dates of many of the parades, if you walk along lower Broadway the names and date are imbedded in the sidewalk all along the "Canyone of Heroes."

Jackie Kennedy and JFK in a NYC tickertape parade on October 19, 1960 along the Canyon of Heroes on Broadway near Wall Street.