Calendar of Ethnic Festivals


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Ecuadorian Parade and Festival
Early-mid August, daylong
Flushing Meadows-Corona Park

TThe festival mix American and Ecuadorian traditions. Hundreds of thousands of Ecuadorian-Americans attend the events, where folkloric dance and regional foods illustrate the richly diverse traditions of the mountain, coastal, and Amazonian areas of Ecuador. Salsa, Charango, and Cumbia music is heard throughout.

For more information: Comite Civico Ecuadoriano, 718-457-0808.

last update: 5/2004

Dominican Day Parade
August (August 8, 2004), 1 pm
Madison Avenue, from 37th to 54th Streets

The colors red, blue, and white on flags, seals, clothing, and other symbols of Dominican cultural identity literally dance up the Avenue to the beat of the Dominican national music, merengue. Many Dominican politicians, including a “Father of the Parade,” are on hand to celebrate over 140 years of Dominican independence from Spain.

For more information: 212-768-2480.

last update: 5/2004

Ferrogosto di Belmont
Arthur Ave and East 187th Street
Mid-late August

Ferragosto, of the “Feast that Begins in August” has its roots in Roman harvest festivals. Peasants that earned the lands of Roman patricians would celebrate the end of the summer harvest by honoring the Gods of agriculture. They formally visited the house of their patron, who gave them presents, often money. This is one of the earliest examples of “tipping” or “la mance.” Today, Ferragosto is usually held in mid to late August. It is believed that since the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mother begins the summer crowning season (May 15) that August 15 was designated by the Catholic church as the start of Ferragosto in her honor.

Ferragosto is an opportunity for family and neighbors to enjoy the sun, good company and of course, good food. Elaborate dinners are planned and prepared. Like the Jewish holiday of Succoth, nature figures prominently in the celeberation. Families congregate at the beach, in the country, by lakes, to pass the day eating, talking, singing, and dancing. Each year the Belmont Community returns to its Italian roots. Merchants, artists and musicians have been brought together to acknowledge the rich culture and cuisine of Italy. About 23,000 people attend the variety of programs on Arthur Ave. that depicts 3000 years of Italian culture.

For more information:

last update: 9/2003

India Day Parade
Mid August, 2-7 pm
Madison Avenue, from 46th to 26th Streets

A cross-section of Indian-Americans come together for a unified statement of India’s history and her progress throughout the 20th century. Ornate floats depicting the regions and symbols of India fill the parade with color and movement, while dancers and costumed marchers evoke the spiritual and cultural identity of India and the Indians who have made America their home. A Grand Marshal from India is honored.

For more information: 718-651-6969.

last update: 5/2004

Brighton Jubilee Russian Festival
Sunday before Labor Day, daylong
Brighton Beach Avenue, from Corbin Place to Ocean Parkway

Though Brighton Beach is home to the largest Russian community in NYC, the festival celebrates the diverse cultural scene of the neighborhood and its achievements. Local nightclubs bring their musicians onto the stages, “unveiling their mystique,” as a local resident said. The festival will fill the streets with food vendors and a flea-market. Besides all these, you could always enjoy the beach.

For more information: Brighton Neighborhood Association 718/891-0800,

last update: 5/2004

Hong Kong Dragon Boat Races
Mid August, (August 7-8, 2004) 9 am- 5pm, rain or shine
Meadows Lake, Flushing Meadows-Corona Park
Free Admission

Come and enjoy a festival of splashing and drumbeats! Some eight teams from around the world compete at this traditional Chinese summer activity. The racing boats and sweet rice dumplings eaten on festival day dramatize an ancient legend in which a group of fisherman try to prevent the suicide of a beloved poet, Qu Yuan, who drowned himself in a tributary of the Yangtze River some 2,200 years ago. Upon failing to save hime, they beat the water furiously with their paddles to save his body from the fish and throw in rice dumplings as a sacrifice to his spirit. The boat in the image of a Chinese dragon usually seats a team of some 20 paddlers with an onboard drummer to set the rowing rhythm and a steersperson. The event also features performances and an international food court.

For more information: Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival in New York 718-767-1776,

last update: 5/2004

Howl! Festival of East Village Arts
August (August 17th – 21st, 2004), all-day,
Various local venues, including a Wigstock performance at Tompkins Square Park

The festival is a celebration of the alternative arts, a combination town meeting, family reunion and counter-cultural county fair. Events include poetry recitations, art exhibitions, theatre and various other performances.

For more information: The Federation of East Village Artists 212-505-2225.

Last checked 5/2004

Pakistan Day Parade and Festival
Late August, noon
Madison Avenue, from 41st to 23rd Streets

Beginning with breakfast and ending with a festival of Pakistani performers, this parade offers both pageantry and camaraderie in its display of Pakistani culture. American bands mix with floats promoting Pakistani-American businesses and associations, while the traditions of the country are demonstrated in the Eastern music and costumes. At the festival, both traditional performances and prominent contemporary stars entertain.

For more information: 212-689-1750.

last update: 1997


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