New York City

New York City Holidays and Activities

New Years Eve Party in Times Square New York

Every December 31, hundreds of thousands of revelers brave frigid winter weather and gather in Times Square to celebrate the arrival of the New Year. Famous performers and musical groups entertain the crowds from outdoor stages erected for the occasion. Huge crowds of people pack Times Square, Broadway and the adjacent streets. Frivolity, merriment and often a lot of alcoholic "anti-freeze" pervade the crowd. This is the biggest outdoors New Years eve party in the US.

St. Patricks Day Parade in New York © Corel
St. Patricks Day Parade

Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City

Thanksgiving Day is the annual harvest festival in the USA and it falls on the fourth Thursday in November. Traditionally, Macy's department store hosts a gigantic parade in Manhattan on Thanksgiving Day. Huge balloons depicting cartoon figures and other favorite characters float above the streets on tethers controlled by costumed marchers. Clowns, entertainers, marching bands and elaborate displays fill the Avenues of New York City culminated by Santa Claus signifying the beginning of another Christmas shopping season.

The parade traditionally begins 9AM at 77th Street on the upper West Side. It proceeds to Columbus Circle and down Broadway to Herald Square in front of Macy's. If you are in Manhattan the day before Thanksgiving, you can go to the Upper West Side in the evening to watch the giant balloons being inflated and the floats being prepared for the next day.

Halloween Parade in Greenwich Village

October 31 is Halloween, the holiday when children all across the USA don costumes and prowl their neighborhood seeking candy "treats". In the Greenwich Village section of Manhattan, home to many artists, theatrical performers and a large gay community, the residents hold a spectacular parade. They dress in outlandish, flamboyant and bizarre costumes, then march down the streets of their neighborhood.

Saint Patrick's Day in New york City

March 17 is a Christian religious holiday dedicated to Saint Patrick, patron saint of Ireland. On this day, hundreds of thousands of descendants of Irish immigrants march through the streets of Manhattan and pay a visit to Saint Patrick's cathedral. In the evening, all the bars, clubs and pubs or New York fill with folks wearing green articles of clothing signifying their Irish heritage. "Everyone is Irish on Saint Patrick's Day" so all are welcome to join the merriment especially those wearing a bit of green.

The Easter Parade in Manhattan

Easter Sunday, in early spring, is the day that New York residents dress in their finest attire and parade through the Manhattan streets to their church. They dress in everything from civil war period costumes to the latest high fashions from world-renowned designers. The parade begins at 10AM and lasts until late afternoon. It centers on Fifth Avenue between 49th Street near Rockefeller Center and St. Patricks Cathedral up to 57th Street.

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The New York City Marathon

The New York City Marathon, held the first Sunday in November, has become one of the premier running events in the USA. It usually attracts more than 30,000 runners from all over the USA and from around the world. It also attracts more than two million spectators. The race begins on Staten Island at the Verrazano Narrows Bridge. It proceeds through Brooklyn and Queens, crosses into Manhattan and goes up through the Bronx and ends in Central Park near the Tavern on the Green.

New York City Street Fairs

Many neighborhoods in New York sponsor street fairs at various times throughout the year. Some of the fairs are little more than temporary flea markets with booths that sell merchandise. Some of the fairs are elaborate festivals that include entertainment, food and merchandise. The Feast of San Gennaro, in mid September, turns Little Italy into a week-long food festival. The Columbus Avenue Fair, also in September, stretches from 66th Street all the way up the West Side to 96th Street. The 9th Avenue Food Fest, held every May in the Hell's Kitchen neighborhood, features samples from a wide variety of the local restaurants. Every February, Chinese New Year is celebrated at festivals in China Town.

Summer Stage Concerts in Central Park

Every summer, the City Parks Foundation of New York City provides a program of free concerts in Central Park. They usually offer a diverse selection of top quality musical performances including classical symphony, opera, jazz, country, rock and roll and world music. Top named stars are often featured. They also offer some spoken word performances featuring renown poets and authors. The Summer Stage is located near the 72nd Street entrance to the park off of Fifth Avenue. Arrive early to get a good seat and enjoy entertainment under the stars! Here is a schedule of events:

Written by: Mike Leco
Top Photo Credit: © Mike Leco /
Photo Description: New York City Farmers Market