Once spring comes around, the streets of New York will be full of street festivals galore on the weekends. Between Brooklyn and the Bronx, arts fairs and culinary markets, here are the fairest of the street fairs at which you can eat, dance, and enjoy the warm weather.
Stop by Smorgasburg during its opening weekend of April 2 and 3 to see what treats they have this season, whether it’s the classic Ramen Burger, a favorite San-Diego style burrito from Best Buds, or a new concoction beyond your gastronomical imagination that calls. “The Woodstock of Eating” returns Saturdays in Williamsburg and Sundays in Prospect Park through November.
Hester Street Fair supports a community of artists, collectors and entrepreneurs whose products range from artisanal food to vintage clothing, jewelry and crafts. At this Lower East Side flea, you can find a rare vintage piece as you munch on fancy artisanal foods. If you can’t make it on April 25, Hester Street will be open nearly every Saturday until October 31.
► Crafts on Columbus, Columbus Avenue from 77th to 81st Street, Upper West Side
April 30-May 1, May 7-8, May 14-15
Crafts on Columbus had a closing scare two years ago, but after a petition to save the fair, the neighborhood staple will be back for three spring weekends. This relatively refined, truly Upper West Sidey fair will feature more than 100 artisans showcasing blown glass, ceramics, sculptures, children’s toys, clothing and more. We promise your aunt will like it.
► St. Demetrios Cathedral Festival, 30-11 30th St., Astoria
May 23-24 or the end of May
St. Demetrios Greek Festival, one of the premiere Greek festivals in the region, celebrates Greek heritage along with the history of the Community of St. Demetrios, founded in 1927. Festival attendees can enjoy Greek dishes like souvlaki, spinach pie and baklava, watch students perform traditional Greek folk dances, and partake in festivities themselves on amusement park-style rides.
► Bushwick Arts Festival, various locations in Bushwick
The First Annual Bushwick Arts Festival (BAF) will take place on the weekend traditionally occupied by Bushwick Open Studios. Bushwick Open Studios has been moved to October this year to distance itself from its growing reputation for spectacle. BAF, however, wants to give artists the opportunity to share their work in the heat of summer. Explore some studios and get to the bottom of this art world controversy June 3 to 5.
► Feast of St. Anthony, Arthur Avenue at East 187th Street, Little Italy in the Bronx
For 5 days each summer, the Bronx’s Little Italy holds a vibrant street fair in celebration of the Feast of St. Anthony. The highlight of this fair is the Dance of the Giglio, in which over 100 lifters hoist a wooden giglio on their shoulders and proceed through the streets in a tradition that dates back to 409 A.D. Feast-goers can also enjoy live music, carnival games and, of course, Italian street foods.
On Father’s Day, this block of Chelsea pays homage to fetishes, kinks and extraterrestrial eccentricities in the Folsom Street East Festival. At the largest outdoor fetish fest on the East Coast, you might find a new leather harness, join a bondage club,and sip on a cocktail in a penis-shaped glass. Proceeds from this event go to nonprofit charities that serve New York’s LGBTQIA communities.
On the anniversary of the beginning of the French Revolution, Brooklyn’s Smith Street will turn into 16 sandy courts for the annual Pétanque tournament. Thankfully for hungry Pétanque players, neighborhood staples will offer food and drink for this French holiday in a street fair that begins midday.
San Gennaro Festival is an 11-day celebration of the Patron Saint of Naples. Little Italy will bustle even more than usual with religious processions, colorful parades, and free music each night. If you think you can eat, consider putting your skills to the test in the historic cannoli-eating contest.