The city that never sleeps is back and ready to be explored! Many of New York City's most celebrated events, shows, parades and festivals are scheduled to resume following the shutdowns of 2020. Here are 10 of the biggest annual must-see events returning this year.
NYC Restaurant Week
Patrons can enjoy deals on meals at hundreds of eateries around the city, as well as special pre-fixe menus this summer. The 2021 Summer NYC Restaurant Week runs July 19 through Aug. 22.
INFO Book tables starting July 12 at nycgo.com
The big bash in Park Slope returns to the Prospect Park Bandshell this summer. A free concert series kicking off July 31 with a lineup that includes Ari Lennox plus musicians Kamauu and Nesta. Other performers slated for the series include The Roots (Aug. 12) and DJ D-Nice (Sept. 2) before the closing show with Trombone Shorty (Sept. 18).
INFO 141 Prospect Park West; 718-683-5600, bricartsmedia.org
U.S. Open Tennis Championships
The tournament is slated to run Aug. 30 through Sept. 12, and while proof of vaccination won’t be required, all unvaccinated attendees are encouraged to wear masks at all times—and unlike years before, the qualifying portion (Aug. 24-27) will not be open to the public. Starting July 15, the public can purchase reserved and ground pass tickets.
INFO USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center: Flushing Meadow Corona Park, Flushing (Queens); 800-990-8782, usopen.org
New York Fashion Week
New York Fashion Week is returning to an in-person multi-venue, multi-day event (Sept. 8-12) where buyers, models, media groups, famous faces and the public culturally collide to check out the latest trends.
The 39th Annual Mermaid Parade
The nautical parade returns to Coney Island with this year’s "King Neptune" being award-winning filmmaker Tony Gerber and Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright and Lynn Nottage as "Queen Mermaid." Attendees on Sept. 12 (at 1 p.m.) will also get to see decorated floats, wild cars and other attractions. The route starts on Surf Avenue at W. 21st St., then turns at W. 10th St. before entering the boardwalk and wrapping at the Steeplechase Plaza. Anyone looking to participate will need to pay (rates vary; register online in advance or day-of), but watching is free.
INFO 718-372-5159, coneyisland.com
The Feast of San Gennaro
This iconic street festival is returning to Little Italy between Sept. 16-26 and held in honor of the patron saint of Naples. Attendees can expect live entertainment and tons of food from which to choose. Attendance is free; food and other items will be available for purchase.
INFO Mulberry Street (Manhattan) between Canal and Houston St., Hester Street between Baxter Centre Sts., Grand Street between Baxter St. and Centre Market Pl.; 212-764-6330, sangennaro.nyc
The New York Philharmonic 2021-22 season
The celebrated symphony orchestra will be opening this year’s season on Sept. 17—but as its usual base of operations David Geffen Hall (10 Lincoln Center Plaza) at the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts complex is being renovated, many of the upcoming performances will instead take place in Alice Tully Hall (1941 Broadway, Midtown Manhattan) and Frederick P. Rose Hall (Broadway at 60th St.). In addition, four Philharmonic concerts will be held at Carnegie Hall (881 7th Ave., Manhattan) before the season closes.
INFO 212-875-5656; nyphil.org
Village Halloween Parade 2021
The Village Halloween parade features decorated floats, music, attendees dressed in costumes and spooky art structures. This year’s free-to-attend parade is slated to feature entertainer Randy Rainbow as grand marshal. The theme is to be "Let’s Play," and the parade is being dedicated to people of all ages who couldn’t properly celebrate Halloween in 2020; the event starts at 7 p.m.
INFO Sixth Ave. from Spring St. to 16th St., Greenwich Village; halloween-nyc.com
‘Christmas Spectacular’ featuring the Radio City Rockettes
No need to wait for Christmastime—or even December—to check out this traditional NYC holiday standard show, as the program will be opening on Nov. 5, and running until Jan. 2, 2022. For those who haven’t attended in the past, these shows are based around holidays stories, and include sophisticated sets, colossal visuals, costume changes galore and performances by the legendary Radio City Rockettes.
INFO Radio City Music Hall: 1260 Avenue of the Americas, Manhattan; 1-866-858-0007, rockettes.com
New York Comedy Festival
It’s a good bet that after all that the world has been through, a good laugh is in order—and the city’s yearly event is back and scheduled for Nov. 8-14. The planned performers have yet to be announced, but more than 100 shows are set to take place at venues including the Apollo Theater (253 W. 125th St., Harlem; 212-531-5300, apollotheaters.org), Brooklyn Academy of Music (30 Lafayette Ave.; 718-636-4100, bam.org), Beacon Theatre (2124 Broadway, Upper West Side; 212-465-6000, msg.com), Carnegie Hall (881 7th Ave., Midtown Manhattan; 212-247-7800, carnegiehall.org), Carolines on Broadway (1626 Broadway, Midtown Manhattan; 212-757-4100, carolines.com), Madison Square Garden (4 Pennsylvania Plz., Manhattan; 212-465-6741, msg.com) and The Town Hall (123 W. 43rd St., Midtown Manhattan; 212-997-6661, thetownhall.org). Presale for tickets starts Aug. 18-22; tickets will be on sale starting Aug. 23.