NEW YORK CITY — After a long winter, the unofficial start to the summer is finally here and New York has many diverse events to mark the occasion.
Along with celebrating troops and ex-servicemen, Memorial Day weekend is a time to get out of the apartment and let those winter-weary bodies get some sunshine.
Commemorate and Celebrate
Fleet Week returns after an absence last year. The general public can tour ships docked at Pier 92 or see aerial and search-and-rescue demonstrations every day until Tuesday. In 2013, New York missed out when the event, which brings 1,500 or so sailors to the city, became a casualty of federal budget cuts.
On Friday night the Intrepid Museum, a retired aircraft carrier docked at the end of West 46th Street, will be showing the movie "Top Gun" on its deck. Those watching can bring picnic baskets and deck chairs for the screening. The movie is free and those attending must arrive before 8:30 p.m.
For Memorial Day Monday, there are plenty of parades and ceremonies happening in every borough. Raymond Aalbue, a Vietnam veteran, is the organizer behind one of the nation's oldest parades, the Kings County Parade through Bay Ridge.
It begins on Third Avenue at 11 a.m. before ending with a ceremony in John Paul Jones Park on 101st Street and Fourth Avenue.
"It's very, very somber and I am sure it is going to weigh heavy on people especially after the 21 gun salute," said Aalbue, noting that a canon will also be fired.
Check out a Festival (or a Sneaker Expo)
Running throughout the long weekend is Brooklyn Gold, a three-day event for "sneaker heads." The expo at the Living Gallery on 1094 Broadway is in its first year and will showcase leading sneaker brands and clothing vendors. Tickets start at $15 a day.
From Friday until Sunday the Lower East Side will celebrate its Latino pride with the Loisaida Festival. Poetry slams, street art and music will take over numerous sections of the East Village and the Lower East Side throughout the weekend.
Listen to Live Music Outdoors
Memorial Day weekend is the unofficial start to summer and the music festival season. For electronic music lovers, the Electric Daisy Carnival will take over the Metlife Stadium in New Jersey on Saturday and Sunday. Tickets start at just under $150 for one day.
On Sunday the Empire Hotel near Lincoln Center is the site for Rooftop Obsessions, a very late brunch with an outdoor dance party. Tickets can be pre-purchased for $15 and the event goes from 4 p.m. until midnight.
Catch the Coney Island Reggae on the Boardwalk on Sunday night. The event is free and runs from 4 p.m. The reggae evenings will be running once a month until August.
Something for Families
On Saturday, parents and kids can head to Governors Island for the Family Festival with its musical and theater productions, arts and crafts as well as harbor-education activities and composting lessons. The event is free and runs from 1 to 4 p.m.
During the Falcons and Friends family festival at the Cloisters, handlers will be hosting live demonstrations with an owl, raven and hawk to show the ancient sport of falconry. The bird show is included in a regular admission ticket to the Cloisters museum in northern Manhattan and is being held at numerous times on Saturday and Sunday.