NYC.com's Annual Parades in New York City Guide
Chinese New Year
The oldest and most important festival in China is the Spring Festival, more commonly known in the West as Chinese New Year. The date of the festival is determined by the lunar/solar calendar rather than the Western (Gregorian) calendar, so the date of the holiday varies from late January to mid February. Manhattan's Chinatown has a fun and colorful parade that winds throughout Chinatown, and you'll find it a festive time to shop and eat in the neighborhood. Families hold many banquets during Chinese New Year, and it's a great time to try new foods as well as extensive menus prepared especially for this holiday period.
Recommended Chinese Restaurants: Joe's Shanghai Restaurant
, Grand Sichuan—Canal Street
, Macao Trading Company
St. Patrick's Day Parade
The annual St. Patrick's Day Parade takes place every year on March 17. The parade begins at 11AM on Fifth Avenue at 44th Street and marches up 5th Avenue to 86th Street. You can plan on it lasting about three hours. Wear green and join the other 150,000 people celebrating our nation's Irish heritage. The Saint Patrick's Day Parade has been a New York tradition since 1766.
Recommended Irish Pubs: Kinsale Tavern
, Dead Poet
, Ulyssees Folk House
, McSorley's Old Ale House
National Tartan Day Parade
What is Tartan day? Well, just read the following United States Senate declaration, which proclaims April 6th National Tartan Day: "Whereas April 6 has a special significance for all Americans, and especially those Americans of Scottish descent, because the Declaration of Arbroath, the Scottish Declaration of Independence, was signed on April 6, 1320 and the American Declaration of Independence was modeled on that inspirational document. . ."
The Parade route begins on West 43rd, 44th and 45th Streets, on 6th Avenue. From here, the parade will march north into Central Park. The parade starts at 2:00 pm. Bands usually begin forming up at 12:00 pm.
Recommended Scotch and Whiskey Bars: Puck Fair
, Brandy Library
, Nancy Whiskey Pub
, Ginger Man
Greek Independence Day Parade
The Federation of Hellenic Societies of Greater New York organizes the annual Greek Independence Day Parade in New York City every April on Manhattan's Fifth Avenue. Since 1938 this annual celebration of Hellenic identity, through which all Hellenes can express and promote their culture and achievements to the world, commemorates the 187th Anniversary of Greek Declaration of Independence (March 25th 1821) and has become a New York City traditional event.
Rcommended Greek Restaurants: Thalassa
, Ammos Estiatorio
, Kellari Parea Greek Bistro
New York Dance Parade
The New York City Dance Parade brings nearly 5,000 dancers and scores of supporters to the streets of Manhattan in May in celebration of culture, community and the art of movement. Dance Parade cuts across ethnic, geographical and age delineation through one of the city’s greatest and most diverse art forms. All are invited to join this kid-friendly event intended to unite, but also raise awareness of the importance of dance in the community. Dance groups range from ballet to belly dance, B-boy to the rumba, and from salsa to swing. In addition to the dance companies and individual dancers, colorful floats, live bands and DJs waltz, tango and pirouette down Broadway from 28th Street to Tompkins Square Park with a dance festival finale in the park.
Recommended Dance Clubs: S.O.B.'S
, Pacha NYC
The famous Mermaid Parade takes place every year in Coney Island on the first Saturday after the summer solstice. Join thousands of other Mer-creatures and celebrate the beginning of summer. Mermaid-type costumes are highly recommended. The parade begins at 2:00 pm and can best be viewed on Surf Avenue between West 10th and 15th Streets, or else on the Riegelmann Boardwalk between the same cross streets. After the parade there are additional post-parade activities at Astroland at Surf Avenue and West 10th Street. All parade events conclude around 6 PM, but rides remain open past midnight.
Recommended Swimming Pools: Hamilton Fish Recreation Center
, Lasker Swimming Pool
, Chelsea Piers
, Dry Dock
Gay Pride Week March
Pridefest, the annual LGBT street fair, takes place following one of the largest gay pride parades in America, which streams thousands of participants down Manhattan's Fifth Avenue every year. Featuring dozens of local merchant booths, live entertainment acts, and scores of street stands, Pridefest brings together local residents and families, community leaders, and area business owners to celebrate in the street and attracts thousands of out-of-state visitors and volunteers.
Recommended Gay/Lesbian Clubs: G Lounge
, Pieces Bar
Puerto Rico Day Parade
New York's own Puerto Rican Day Parade is, in fact, the city's largest parade and second biggest public celebration after the Labor Day West Indian American Day Carnival in Brooklyn.This annual parade day takes place every year on the second Sunday in June, with more than 80,000 people marching, and close to 3 million revelers lining the parade route for a major Puerto Rican love-fest.. Join thousands of people of Puerto Rican descent and celebrate Puerto Rican pride and heritage.
The parade marches up Fifth Avenue from 44th to 86th Streets and includes delegates from various towns of Puerto Rico and U.S. states across the country.
Puerto Rican Restaurants: La Fonda Boricua
, Old San Juan Restaurant
, La Taza de Oro
, Casa Adela
West Indian Day Carnival
West Indian Americans come out in force to celebrate their history during this five-day carnival. The festivities include a Children's Carnival Parade, costume competitions, music, and of course the huge West Indian American Day Parade. This is New York City's largest parade, and over two million revelers turn out every Labor Day for this entertaining and extravagant celebration of Caribbean culture. The costumes, floats and music are extraordinary.
Recommended Caribbean Restaurants: Ivo & Lulu
, Palo Santo
, Angela's Caribbean Cuisine
, Caribbean Spice Restaurant
Village Halloween Parade
Started by Greenwich Village mask maker and puppeteer Ralph Lee in 1973, the Village Halloween Parade takes place every year on October 31st, at 6PM. Given the size and scope of this parade, it is hard to believe it all began as a simple walk from house to house in Mr. Lee's neighborhood for his children and their friends. After the second year of this local promenade, Theatre for the New City asked Ralph Lee to produce the event on a larger scale as part of their City in the Streets program. The Parade now draws more than 30,000 costumed participants and spectators estimated at 2 million. The parade is covered by all media—local, national and worldwide. All those in costume are welcome to join hundreds of puppets, numerous bands of different types of music, dancers and artists, and thousands of other New Yorkers in costumes of their own creation.
Halloween Costume Shops: Abracadabra Superstore
, Ricky's NYC
, Frankie Steinz Costumes
, California Costume
, Screaming Mimi
, Party City of Manhattan
Veterans Day Parade
The Veterans Day Parade has been organized in New York City since 1929. Over 20,000 people participate in the Veteran's Day Parade each year. There are a variety of marchers, floats and marching bands in the Veterans Day Parade, with participants including active military officers, veterans groups, junior ROTC members, and the families of veterans. The Veteran's Day commemoration begins with a wreath laying ceremony at 10 a.m. at the Eternal Flame in Madison Square Park with the parade beginning at 11 a.m. and lasts until 2pm. The parade begins on Fifth Avenue at 23rd Street, and continues north along Fifth Avenue to its conclusion at 59th Street.
Recommended Military History Attractions: Intrepid Sea-Air-Space Museum
, Grant's Tomb
, Governor's Island National Monument
Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade
The annual Macy's Thanksgiving Parade begins at 9:00am at 77th Street and Central Park West and snakes its way down to Macy's flagship department store at Herald Square, 34th Street and 6th Ave. The entire parade lasts about three to four hours and is viewed by a nationwide television audience. The duration of the parade for spectators on the street level depends on where you view it from: near the beginning of the route, it will last about 1 1/2 hours, closer to Macy's, the parade will last closer to 3 hours.
Note: The evening before the parade, the floats are blown up right outside the Museum of Natural History on 77th Street between Amsterdam and Central Park West. The action begins around 5pm and lasts until finished, usually around midnight.
Recommended Hotels: Doubletree Guest Suites
, Sheraton Manhattan
, Renaissance New York Times Square
, Mandarin Oriental