"Coney Island - Fireworks Burst" by Bob Jagendorf is licensed with CC BY-NC 2.0.
Jul 1, 2021
15 things to do this Independence Day weekend
Fireworks may be the main event, but there's plenty of other stuff to do this weekend if you can beat the heat
Somehow it’s already the Fourth of July weekend, and Brooklyn is brimming with events. Ahead of Sunday’s celebrations—highlighted by the much-anticipated return of Coney Island’s firework display—stock up on BBQ supplies at the Fort Greene Greenmarket, have an existential experience at a local art show, laugh along with top-tier comedians in a Gowanus boathouse, or get boozy while painting a patriotic gnome.
Friday, July 2
10 a.m. to 9:45 p.m.
A single glittering disco ball can transform a room, so what happens when you stack dozens on the floor and target them with carefully programmed lights? According to artists Kyle McDonald and Jonas Jongejan, “a mesmerizing flood … that destabilizes and reorganizes a viewer’s perception of space.” This dynamic art installation will appear at City Point in Downtown Brooklyn (445 Albee Square West), starting July 2 and running through the end of the month. $10 tickets can secure you a 15-minute time slot.
Music with a View: Gentleman Brawlers on Washington Street
5 to 7 p.m.
Grab your gloves! Actually, wait … the Gentleman Brawlers aren’t pugilists. They’re psychedelic Afro-soul musicians getting ready to serenade the piazza at Dumbo’s Washington Street this Friday, from 5 to 7 p.m. The Brooklyn six-piece band was called a groovy, “beautifully engineered machine” by BBC music writer Tom Robinson. Order takeout from a nearby eatery and snag a seat for the show.
Americana in the Archway featuring The Maybelles
5 to 7 p.m.
The soulful, distinctive country music of Jan Bell is informed by her upbringing in the coal mining village of Yorkshire, England, and her time in The Ozarks, where she founded The Maybelles. The harmony-driven trio will be performing from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Archway under the Manhattan Bridge. Tickets are free, but donations are encouraged.
Cuba Libre Comedy Show at the Gowanus Dredgers Canoe Club
6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
The Gowanus Dredgers Canoe Club regularly hosts noteworthy events, and this week is no different. Chase Shanahan and Evan Hernandez of Cuba Libre Comedy will be emceeing a comedy show this Friday inside the club’s boathouse, featuring several surprise acts who’ve reportedly made the late-night rounds. Reserve a seat for $5 or stand for free. The night kicks off at 6:30 p.m. and lasts two hours.
I Don’t Wanna See That?!!?! Presents: The Real Househoes of Bushwick Present: A 4th of July in Versailles
Both Friday and Saturday, with showtimes at 8 p.m. and 10 p.m.
Five drag queens gather at 961 Fulton Street to spill mountains of tea about their husbands, personal projects and their yen for fame at a Versailles-themed drag comedy show.
Saturday, July 3
Fort Greene Greenmarket
8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Gather the goods for your Fourth of July feast by hitting the Fort Greene Greenmarket early on Saturday morning. With vendors selling everything from affordable staples to microgreens to sustainably raised meat, this weekly market has a bit of everything. Drop by anytime between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. in the southeast corner of the park.
Artist Maraya Lopez “No Color Game”
12 p.m. to 9 p.m.
What would Dumbo look like stripped of color? Brooklyn-based artist Maraya Lopez will ask members of the public to help her construct this vision during a live-streamed performance/art installation on Washington Street in Dumbo, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. This event is part of the Six-Foot Platform Experimental Residency Program, sponsored by the Brooklyn Arts Council.
Painting “Gnome of the Free” at Pinot’s Palette
4 to 6 p.m.
Drink wine and channel your inner Jasper Johns at Pinot’s Palette this Saturday evening in Dyker Heights, where the studio’s artists will guide you through the process of painting a patriotic gnome. You read that right. Class starts at 4 p.m. sharp, and reservations can be booked for $32.
Classical Pianist Beth Levin at Bargemusic
When’s the last time you listened to classical music? If it’s been a while, Beth Levin—a child prodigy who debuted with the Philadelphia Orchestra at age 12—would be a great place to rekindle (or discover) your enthusiasm. She’ll be playing Mozart, Brahms, Dawe and Schuman at Bargemusic, a floating concert hall. The show starts at 6 p.m., with tickets going for only $35.
Sunday, July 4
Doja Cat Headlines The Day Party at the Coney Art Walls
2 to 10 p.m.
Spend your Independence Day with Doja Cat, who will be celebrating the release of her new album, Planet Her, by headlining The Day Party, a recurring Hip-Hop and R&B event that has hosted the likes of A$AP Rocky, J. Cole, Drake and Virgil Abloh. Bounce between vendors and enjoy the music before catching the Coney Island Fireworks show at 10 p.m. Doors open at 2 p.m., and tickets start at a cheeky $69.
Re:Open Jam at Japan Village
4 to 8 p.m.
The pandemic has been rough for musicians everywhere, and the Japanese Consulate is aiming to kickstart the recovery with Re:Open Jam, a series of live performances by Japanese artists. The showcase is going down this Sunday in Japan Village, a sprawling market in Sunset Park, between 4 and 8 p.m. A production crew will be standing by to document the event, and will upload a five-minute video to YouTube capturing the fun. Free to attend.
Nathan’s Famous 2021 July 4th Hot-Dog Eating Contest
Last year, Joey Chestnut of Indianapolis set a world record by gobbling 75 hot dogs (and buns!) in 10 minutes at this truly historic event (the first was held in 1916). Will Chestnut be able to repeat? Find out when the men’s competition begins at 12:30 p.m., at Maimonides Park in Coney Island, following the women’s competition at 11 a.m. The contest will be broadcast on ESPN. Tickets available through Major League Eating’s website.
Coney Island Fireworks
After a 23-month hiatus, fireworks are finally returning to Coney Island. On Sunday, catch the display starting at 10 p.m. anywhere on the boardwalk. Ideal viewing locations are in the stretch between West 10th Street and West 23rd Street. The show will continue every Friday until the end of summer, albeit on a smaller scale, beginning at 9:45 p.m.
Fourth of July Block Party in Greenpoint
1 to 10 p.m.
Party all day long at the Fourth of July Block Party at the Skyline Theater (1 Oak Street) in Greenpoint. The event will run from from 1 to 10 p.m., will feature a bevy of food trucks, a slate of DJs (Goldfish, Phantoms, Devault and others), and is perfectly situated for a stellar view of the Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks, which blast off at 9:15 p.m. Tickets are going for $45, and the party will go on rain or shine.
Sunday Soul Scream on the Rooftop
10 p.m. to 4 a.m.
An independence dancetravaganza on the roof of Our Wicked Lady, at 153 Morgan Avenue, featuring frozen tropical drinks to keep you cool as you sweat to 1960s soul jams spun by Jonathan Toubin and New York Night Train.
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