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New York: Calendar of Events

For an exhaustive list of events beyond those listed here, check, where you'll find a searchable, up-to-the-minute roster of what's happening in cities all over the world.


World Cup Freestyle, Lake Placid. The world's best aerial skiers take off and fly, tucking and spinning their way to a championship. You'll see mogul action, too, as the athletes' skis zigzag among the mounds of snow. Call tel. 518/523-1655 or visit Mid-January.


Chinese New Year, New York City. Every year, Chinatown rings in its own new year (based on a lunar calendar) with 2 weeks of celebrations, including parades with dragon and lion dancers, plus vivid costumes of all kinds. Call the New York City Visitor's hot line at tel. 212/484-1222 or the Asian American Business Development Center at tel. 212/966-0100. February 7 to 21, 2008.

Olmsted Winterfest, Buffalo. Delaware Park becomes a magnet for fun seekers, with sledding, skating, snowmobiling, softball, ice sculpting, a chili cook-off, and races taking place all over the park. There's a Friday Fish Fry, naturally, and fireworks. Call tel. 716/838-1249 or visit Four days in mid-February.

Empire State Winter Games, Lake Placid. The games for New York State's premier amateur athletes. Call tel. 518/523-1655 or visit Mid-February.


St. Patrick's Day Parade, New York City. More than 150,000 marchers join in the world's largest civilian parade, as Fifth Avenue from 44th to 86th streets rings with the sounds of bands and bagpipes. The parade usually starts at 11am, but go extra early if you want a good spot. Irish bars throughout the city throb with revelers. Call tel. 212/484-1222. March 17.


Easter Parade, New York City. No marching bands, no baton twirlers, no protesters. It's more about flamboyant exhibitionism, with hats and costumes that get more outrageous every year -- and anybody can join right in for free. It's along Fifth Avenue from 48th to 57th streets on Easter Sunday, from about 10am to 3 or 4pm. Call tel. 212/484-1222.


Lilac Festival, Rochester. More than 1,000 lilac trees in Highland Park, with dozens of varieties of fragrant lilacs in full bloom, are the excuse for a big civic party. There is music and food, but the highlight is easily the lilacs. Call tel. 585/256-4960 or visit Mid-May.

Bike New York: The Great Five Borough Bike Tour, New York City. The largest mass-participation cycling event in the United States attracts about 30,000 cyclists from all over the world. Call tel. 212/932-BIKE (2453) or visit to register. First or second Sunday in May.

Tulip Festival, Albany. For more than 50 years, Albany has celebrated its Dutch heritage with this colorful festival, where, in addition to thousands of beautiful tulips in Washington Park, there is plenty of food, entertainment, and crafts -- not to mention the annual crowning of the tulip queen! Call tel. 518/434-2032 or visit First or second week of May.

Falls Fireworks & Concert Series, Niagara Falls, Ontario. Every Friday and Sunday, you can enjoy free concerts by the falls at 8pm, followed by a fireworks show at 10pm, which bathes the falls in color. Call tel. 877/642-7275 or visit Mid-May through mid-September.

Fleet Week, New York City. About 10,000 U.S. Navy and Coast Guard personnel are "at liberty" in New York for the annual Fleet Week, an event immortalized on Sex and the City. Usually from 1 to 4pm daily, you can watch the ships and aircraft carriers as they dock at the piers on the west side of Manhattan, tour them with on-duty personnel, and watch some dramatic exhibitions by the U.S. Marines. Call tel. 212/245-0072, or visit Late May.


Annual Hall of Fame Game, Cooperstown. The day begins with a lecture by Hall of Famers and moves into a game between pro teams. There's a home run contest, and, of course, lots of hot dog eating. Call tel. 888/HALL-OF-FAME or visit Early June.

Belmont Stakes, Elmont (Long Island). The third jewel in the Triple Crown is held at the Belmont Park Race Track. If a Triple Crown winner is to be named, it will happen here. For information, call tel. 516/488-6000. Early June.

Shakespeare in the Park, New York City. The Delacorte Theater in Central Park is the setting for first-rate free performances under the stars -- including at least one Shakespeare production. Call tel. 212/539-8500 or point your browser to Early June to early September.

Caramoor International Music Festival, Katonah (Hudson River Valley). This idiosyncratic house-museum and performing arts center hosts one of the state's best music festivals, with a full slate of summer outdoor chamber and symphonic music concerts. Call tel. 914/232-1252 or visit June 21 through August 3, 2008.

Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival, Garrison (Hudson River Valley). On the gorgeous grounds of Boscobel Restoration, one of the prettiest spots along the Hudson, the summer theater performance of Shakespeare seems suitably grand, and perfect for a summer's eve picnic. Call tel. 845/265-7858 (845/265-9575 for tickets) or visit Mid-June to early September.

Shakespeare in Delaware Park, Buffalo. Free Shakespeare under the stars has been a Buffalo tradition for almost 30 years. Call tel. 716/856-4533 or visit Mid-June to mid-August.

Chautauqua season opens, Chautauqua Institution. This arts camp in western New York is one of the most prestigious in the nation. Its extensive grounds, right on the shores of Chautauqua Lake, play host to all manner of arts classes, lectures, and performances. Call tel. 800/836-ARTS or go to Mid-June to mid-August.

Museum Mile Festival, New York City. Fifth Avenue from 82nd to 104th streets is closed to cars from 6 to 9pm as 20,000-plus strollers enjoy live music, street entertainers, and free admission to nine Museum Mile institutions, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Guggenheim. Call tel. 212/606-2296 or visit Usually the second Tuesday in June.

Lesbian and Gay Pride Week and March, New York City. A week of cheerful happenings, from simple parties to major political fundraisers, precedes a zany parade commemorating the Stonewall Riot of June 27, 1969, which for many marks the beginning of the gay liberation movement. Call tel. 212/807-7433 or check Mid- to late June.

U.S. Open Golf Championship, Farmingdale. In 2009, this major tournament returns to New York, to the Black Course at Bethpage State Park. Come see if Tiger can put another major tournament under his belt. Call the USGA at tel. 908/234-2300 or visit for more information. June 15-21, 2009.

Lake Placid Horse Show, Lake Placid. Watch horses take to the air in this prestigious horse show set against the gorgeous Adirondacks. Call tel. 518/523-9625 or visit Late June to early July.


Glimmerglass Opera, Cooperstown. Central New York's famous opera gears up for another impressive season. Call tel. 607/547-2255 or go to Early July through end of August.

Hill Cumorah Pageant, Palmyra (Finger Lakes region). Near the site where the Mormon religion was founded, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints puts on an amazing theatrical spectacle, in the tradition of Middle Ages pageants, with 700 actors. Call tel. 315/597-2757 or 315/597-5851. First 2 weeks of July.

Independence Day Harbor Festival and Fourth of July Fireworks Spectacular, New York City. Start the day amid the patriotic crowds at the Great July Fourth Festival in Lower Manhattan, and then catch Macy's great fireworks extravaganza (one of the country's most fantastic) over the East River (the best vantage point is from the FDR Drive, which closes to traffic several hours before sunset). Call tel. 212/484-1222, or Macy's Visitor Center at 212/494-2922. July 4th.

Hurley Stone House Tour, Hurley (Catskill region). Unlike New Paltz, where the ancient stone structures are open in season to visitors, Hurley's collection of two dozen stone houses, most privately owned, open only once a year for visits. Call tel. 845/331-4121. Mid-July.

Finger Lakes Wine Festival, Watkins Glen International Racetrack. The Finger Lakes is one of the country's great (but still up-and-coming) wine regions, and everybody gets together -- locals, visitors, and some five dozen or so wineries -- for tastings, crafts, food, and good spirits. It's anything but stuffy, though, as the annual toga party (or "Launch of the Lakes") attests. Call tel. 866/461-7223 or visit Usually the third weekend in July.

Windham Chamber Music Festival, Windham (Catskill region). Opera stars from the Metropolitan in New York City descend upon the Catskill Mountains for some high culture at a higher altitude. Call tel. 518/734-3868 or visit July through August.

Belleayre Music Festival, Highmount (Catskill region). The ski mountain of Belleayre races in summer with a wide-ranging mix of high-brow and popular music and entertainment, from classical and opera to folk and puppetry. Call tel. 800/254-5600 or visit July through August.

Annual Wine Country Classic Boat Show & Regatta, Hammondsport (Finger Lakes region). At the southern end of Keuka Lake, this antique- and classic-boat show features more than 100 boats, with judging, water parades, and demonstrations. On Sunday is the race regatta. Call tel. 585/394-3044. Third weekend in July.

Saratoga Summer Culture, Saratoga Springs. In July, the New York City Ballet makes its off-season home at the National Museum of Dance & Hall of Fame, and during the month of August, the Philadelphia Orchestra is in residence at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center (SPAC). Who would think that high culture could compete stride-for-stride with the horses over at the track for the big event of the summer? Call tel. 518/584-2225 or 518/584-9330, or visit July and August.

Baseball Hall of Fame Induction Weekend, Cooperstown. Come see which legendary swingers will make it in this year. Call tel. 888/HALL-OF-FAME or visit Late July.

Thoroughbred Horse Racing, Saratoga Springs (Capital region). At the famed Race Course, the oldest in the country, the race season lasts 6 weeks and turns the town upside down. Call tel. 518/584-6200 or visit End of July through early September.

Bounty of the Hudson, Hudson Valley. A 2-day food and wine festival showcasing the best of the Hudson Valley, including cooking workshops and live music held at one of the local wineries. Tickets and more information at Last weekend in July.


Antique Boat Show & Auction, Clayton (Thousand Islands). It's the oldest continuous boat show in the world -- you can even bid on a boat at the auction. Cruise the commercial marketplace and flea market, sit in on an educational forum, listen to music, and sample food. Lots of kids' programs, too. Call tel. 315/686-4104. Early August.

Maverick Concert Series, Woodstock. America's oldest summer chamber music series, continuous since 1916, is this agreeable version of "Music in the Woods." Call tel. 845/679-8217 or visit August through early September.

Harlem Week, New York City. The world's largest black and Hispanic cultural festival actually spans almost the whole month to include the Black Film Festival, the Harlem Jazz and Music Festival, and the Taste of Harlem Food Festival. Call tel. 212/484-1222. Throughout August.

NASCAR Winston Cup at the Glen, Watkins Glen. Among legions of race fans, this huge event is unparalleled in the Northeast, and it draws NASCAR fans from across the state and region, filling up just about every bed in the Finger Lakes. Call tel. 607/535-2486 (for tickets, 866/461-RACE [7223]) or visit Second week in August.

Toy Fest, East Aurora. The home of Fisher-Price toys (western New York) comes to life with a toy parade along Main Street, an antique toy show, rides, and other activities. Call tel. 716/687-5151 or visit Late August.

National Buffalo Wing Festival, Buffalo. This festival features many restaurants and sauces from Buffalo and around the country. Best wing and sauce competitions, wing-eating contests, and more. Call tel. 716/565-4141 or visit Late August.

New York State Fair, Syracuse (Finger Lakes region). New York State's massive 12-day agricultural and entertainment fair, with all kinds of big-name music acts and food you'll be glad only comes 'round once a year. Call tel. 800/475-FAIR or visit Late August to early September.

U.S. Open Tennis Championships, New York City. The final Grand Slam event of the tennis season is held at the Arthur Ashe Stadium at the USTA National Tennis Center, the largest public tennis center in the world, at Flushing Meadows Park in Queens. Tickets go on sale in May or early June, and the event sells out immediately. Call tel. 888/OPEN-TIX or 718/760-6200 well in advance; visit or for additional information. Two weeks around Labor Day.


Turn-of-the-Century Day, Roxbury (Catskill region). Reliving the glory days of baseball and hoop skirts, the town of Roxbury sheds about 100 years and celebrates with a vintage "base ball" game, horse-drawn wagon rides, and period foods and costumes on the former estate of Helen Gould Shepard in this Labor Day tradition. Call tel. 607/326-3722. Labor Day weekend.

West Indian-American Day Parade, New York City. This annual Brooklyn event is New York's largest and best street celebration. Come for the extravagant costumes, pulsating rhythms (soca, calypso, reggae), bright colors, folklore, food (jerk chicken, Caribbean soul food), and two million hip-shaking revelers. Call tel. 212/484-1222 or 718/625-1515. Labor Day.

Adirondack Balloon Festival, Glens Falls, Queensbury, and Lake George. Watch a rainbow of colors soar into the sky as 60-plus hot-air balloons lift off. Tons of activities surround this annual event. Call tel. 800/365-1050 or visit Mid-September.

Naples Grape Festival, Naples (Finger Lakes region). To celebrate the harvest of the grape in this grape-growing and wine-producing region, grape pie lives for a weekend in the tiny town of Naples. Connoisseurs rejoice, scarfing down as much pie as possible, and there's a "World's Greatest Grape Pie" contest and live entertainment. Call tel. 585/374-2240 or visit End of September.


Legend Weekend at Sleepy Hollow and Philipsburg Manor, Tarrytown (Hudson River Valley). At Washington Irving's Sunnyside home, as well as up the road at Philipsburg Manor, the specter of the Headless Horseman returns for one last ride. So as not to scare all concerned, there are also walks in the woods, storytelling, and puppet shows. Call tel. 914/631-8200 or visit Last week in October.

Halloween at Howe Caverns (near Utica). Come check out the underground scare-a-thon with pumpkin-decorating contests, scary stories, and a special kids' buffet. Call tel. 518/296-8900 or visit October 31.

Greenwich Village Halloween Parade, New York City. This is Halloween at its most outrageous. You may have heard Lou Reed singing about it on his classic album New York -- he wasn't exaggerating. Drag queens and assorted other flamboyant types parade through the Village in wildly creative costumes. Call the Village Voice parade hot line at tel. 212/475-3333, ext. 4044, or go to for the exact route so you can watch -- or participate, if you have the threads and the imagination. October 31.


New York City Marathon, New York City. Some 30,000 hopefuls from around the world participate in the largest U.S. marathon, and more than a million fans cheer them on as they follow a route that touches on all five New York boroughs and finishes at Central Park. Call tel. 212/423-2249 or 212/860-4455, or visit, where you can find applications to run. First Sunday in November.

Lights in the Park, Buffalo. Delaware Park is transformed into a colorful wonderland throughout the holidays, with animated lighting displays and a collection of holiday scenes. Call tel. 716/856-4533. Begins mid-November.

Winter Festival of Lights, Niagara Falls, Ontario. A visual lighting extravaganza featuring Disney's motion light displays in Queen Victoria Park. Call tel. 800/563-2557 or 905/374-1616 or visit November to early January.

Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, New York City. The procession of huge hot-air balloons from Central Park West and 77th Street and down Broadway to Herald Square at 34th Street continues to be a national tradition. The night before, you can usually see the big blowup on Central Park West at 79th Street; call in advance to see if it will be open to the public again this year. Call tel. 212/484-1222, or Macy's Visitor Center at 212/494-2922. Thanksgiving Day.

Christmas Traditions, New York City. Look for these holiday favorites: Radio City Music Hall's Christmas Spectacular (tel. 212/247-4777;; the New York City Ballet's staging of The Nutcracker (tel. 212/870-5570;; A Christmas Carol at The Theater at Madison Square Garden (tel. 212/465-6741;; and the National Chorale's singalong performances of Handel's Messiah at Avery Fisher Hall (tel. 212/875-5030; Call for schedules. Late November through December.

Dickens Christmas, Skaneateles (Finger Lakes region). Sweet nostalgia takes over this quaint Finger Lakes town as costumed characters -- Father Christmas, Mother Goose, and Scrooge -- roam the streets. Locals go door-to-door caroling, and there are carriage rides and free roasted chestnuts. Call tel. 315/685-0552 or visit Last weekend in November to just before Christmas.


Great Estates Candlelight Christmas Tours, Hudson River Valley. Some of the grandest mansions lining the Hudson River -- Boscobel, Sunnyside, Van Cortlandt Manor, Lyndhurst, Olana, and others -- get all decked out for the holidays, with special candlelight house tours, caroling, bonfires, and hot cider. It's one of the best times to experience the pageantry and customs of another era. Throughout December.

Holiday Trimmings, New York City. Stroll down festive Fifth Avenue and you'll see doormen dressed as wooden soldiers at FAO Schwarz, a 27-foot sparkling snowflake floating over the intersection outside Tiffany & Co., the Cartier building ribboned and bowed in red, wreaths warming the necks of the New York Public Library's lions, and fanciful figurines in the windows of Saks Fifth Avenue and Lord & Taylor. Madison Avenue between 55th and 60th streets is also a good bet; Sony Plaza usually displays something fabulous, as does Barneys New York. Throughout December.

New Year's Eve, New York City. The biggest party of them all happens in Times Square, where thousands of raucous revelers in unison count down the year's final seconds until the new lighted ball drops at midnight at 1 Times Square. Hate to be a party pooper, but this one, in the cold surrounded by thousands of very drunk revelers, is a masochist's delight. Call tel. 212/768-1560 or 212/484-1222, or visit December 31.

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