'Nathan's Hot Dog stand sign, at Coney Island' by augieray is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0.
Jun 30, 2022
21 things to do this Independence Day weekend
Plus, the best places in Brooklyn to see the Macy's Fourth of July Fireworks display
This weekend is loaded in more ways than one: Monday is, of course, Independence Day, a loaded holiday for many in the borough, especially this year. But the weekend is also chock-a-block with can’t-miss events! … Consider it a little late-stage capitalism give-and-take.
There will be comedy shows, including one by local funny guy Hari Kondanolu, who is recording a new special. Or if you want something a little more refined, a candle-lit concerto will feature of the music of both Bach and the Beatles in an unlikely setting.
Monday, being the fourth, means the return of the (too-horrifying-to-look-away) display of gastronomical excess that is Nathan’s annual hot dog eating contest. And as long as you’re down in Coney Island, stick around for a performance by Meek Mill at the Art Walls.
Finally, it’s also officially (and unofficially) fireworks season. Note that Macy’s Fourth of July Fireworks display will not be visible from Brooklyn Bridge Park this year. For the best viewing locations in Brooklyn, try your luck at Newtown Barge Park, Transmitter Park or Marsha P. Johnson State Park. Check out the Macy’s Fourth of July Fireworks website for more info on that.
Here’s your roundup of things to do in the borough.
Friday, June 1
International African Arts Festival
Friday through Monday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
The International African Arts Festival is celebrating 51 years in 2022. Join them at Commodore Berry Park for the main events from Friday, July 1 to Monday, July 4. Thandiswa, the popular double platinum South African musician is headlining this year’s Festival, along with Trinidadian AfroSoca artist Olatunji; The Jazz of a Tribe Called Quest featuring Dashill Smith and Malcolm-Jamal Warner; R&B sensation Lyfe Jennings; and Oshun. Tickets start at $15.
Summer Fridays on the Greenway
Need plans after work? Each first Friday of the summer months, the Brooklyn Bridge Park Greenway Terrace will host performances, meditations, and other experiences throughout the space. With the theme of “Release, Restore, Rejoice” each Summer Friday provides a unique experience and fresh line-up, all curated by singer-songwriter Madison McFerrin. This Friday, Stonie Blue kicks the party off with an ecclectic one-hour opening DJ set. Poet Zubaida Bello presents a short reading followed by a music performance by pop artist Cleo Reed! Stonie Blue returns to close out the evening with another DJ set. Free.
Hari Kondabolu is recording a live show
Doors at 6 p.m.
Brooklyn-based comedian, writer, “Wait, Wait … Don’t Tell Me” panelist and podcaster Hari Kondabolu is shooting a new special and recording an album in his hometown — and you are invited to be part of his live audience at the Bell House at 149 7th Street in Gowanus. The New York Times described his 2018 Netflix special “Warn Your Relatives” as “an incisively funny and formally adventurous hour that reveals a comic in command of his powers.” $30.
New York Non-Fiction
Doors open at 7:45 p.m.
A night of new short documentaries made by and about New Yorkers presented by Rooftop Films. The evening kicks off at 8:15 with live music from Freakquencee followed by six short films. Check in will be at Green-Wood Cemetery’s main entrance on 25th Street and 5th Avenue. $16.
Saturday, June 2
Lobster Fest NYC
3 p.m. to 10 p.m.
A unique 4th of July weekend event with music, food and drinks for everyone at Coney Art Walls. Crab- and lobster-inspired dishes will be served from 3 to 4:45 p.m. Eat party dance, laugh, and eat the day away with seafood inspired dishes! There will be live DJ sets from top national radios Hot 97.1 and Power 105.1 spinning the hottest hip-hop, latin, RnB, Afrobeats, and top 40 hits. 3050 Stillwell Avenue. General admission starts at $39.99.
Doors at 6 p.m.
Brooklyn’s “premier” Dolly Parton Cover Band, Doll Parts, will play their annual show at The Bell House. And what’s more American than Dolly? This year, Dollylujah! will feature a horn section, pedal steel guitar by Brett Parnell, trivia, prizes, and burlesque by Corvette Leface and Ginger Twist. Perfect for passionate Parton purists and passing fancies alike. $20.
Learn Afro Brazilian drumming
Learn to drum some Brazilian beats with Batalá at Brooklyn Writers Space (185 First Street). This group class will break down the music you’ve heard Batalá play, step by step. Students will be guided in proper stick technique, body positioning, and performance strategies, and dynamics for playing any of 4 different drums and other percussion instruments. Batalá New York is an all-female percussion ensemble playing Afro-Brazilian music, primarily Samba Reggae — a genre originating in the state of Bahia in northeast Brazil. $18.
From Bach to the Beatles
The Highline String Quartet will perform a program that ranges from “Concerto for Two Violins in D minor, BWV 1043: I. Vivace” to “A Hard Day’s Night” … by candlelight at t Ann & the Holy Trinity Church, 157 Montague St. This concert series brings the magic of a live, multi-sensory musical experience to beautiful locations never before used for this purpose in New York. $30.
Brooklyn Speakeasy Stand-Up Comedy Saturday House Special
Every Saturday, the Tiny Cupboard hosts a showcase New York City’s finest comedians from Netflix, Late Night, MTV, Comedy Central, and more. 10 Cooper Street. If you’re a stand up comedy virgin or vet, they promise that you’re in for a treat. $10 online, $20 at the door.
The Rest is Still Unwritten
Hosted by comedian Hannah Pilkes, comedians, singers, dancers, clowns and more will come with a half-finished set, and dare to write the rest, on the spot. This is the only show where the audience rewards performers for being unprepared. Union Hall, 702 Union St. $10 in advance, $15 day of.
Sunday, June 3
Dream Queens outdoor drag brunch
12:30 p.m. and 2 p.m.
Join Pixel the Drag Jester and Nikita Petrovna as they host an outrageous Bushwick drag brunch at Queen Bar + Restaurant, 247 Starr Street. They promise that their interactive games, hilarious performances, and weekly special guests “will have even GRANDMA twerking on the tables!” $25 to $320 if you’re really going for it.
Prospect Park weekend nature exploration
Discovery Packs: 10 a.m.
Animal Encounter: 11 a.m.
Nature’s helpers: 12 p.m.
Join the Prospect Park Alliance for nature education programs on Saturdays and Sundays at the Prospect Park Audubon Center at the Boathouse, the first urban Audubon Center in the nation. Explore nature on your own with their “Discovery Packs,” a backpack filled with nature activities and exploration tools, perfect for families and kids to interact with the park in a whole new way. Or, join Alliance Naturalists in learning more about the animals in the Audubon Center’s collection at 11. Then, do your part to keep Prospect Park healthy by cleaning up the lakeshore.
Family kayaking in Brooklyn Bridge Park
12 to 3 p.m.
The Brooklyn Bridge Boathouse offers free weekly kayaking in Brooklyn Bridge Park through the end of August. Kayakers can paddle around our protected embayment for 20 mins with stunning views of the New York City harbor. They provide the boats, paddles and life vests, you do the paddling. Advance registration is required. Free.
Joe Bataan at Union Pool — CANCELED
As hard as it is to believe, latin soul legend Joe Bataan (“Subway Joe,” “Ordinary Guy,” “Gypsy Woman”) is performing a free set at Union Pool on Sunday afternoon as part of its “Summer Thunder” series. Not to be missed. Please note: This event has been canceled. Union Pool is temporarily due to a fire that ripped through the block early Friday. Check in with the venue for updates.
Oysters for your rights
Our Wicked Lady has teamed up with Fords Gin, Narragansett, June Shine and Le Moné to raise money for abortion rights and gender rights. 153 Morgan Ave. Free to enter.
Monday, July 4
Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating contest
11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Some 35,000 fans are estimated to convene on the corner of Surf and Stillwell Avenues in Coney Island to watch the Nathan’s Famous Fourth of July International Hot Dog-Eating Contest in person. Millions more watch the ESPN telecast of the contest. Last year, world champ Joey Chestnut took home the Mustard Belt after setting a world record, downing 76 hot dogs and buns in 10 minutes. Free.
1 p.m. to 10 p.m.
A full day of music, food, drinks, and Independence Day surprises right on the waterfront at Skyline Drive-In, 1 Oak Street. Features a killer view of the city skyline and music by GoldFish, Deep Root Records Takeover, and some special guests. $18.
Yes! Outdoor dance party
3 p.m. to midnight
Waterfront dance party with city skyline views, perfect for watching the fireworks pop off. Enjoy a day-into-night celebration filled with good ol’ fashioned BBQ with festival vibes, interactive art and dance party perfection. Don your reds, whites and blues. Stars. Stripes. Wonder Women. Captain GLAMerica. Make America Gay Again. Summer of Love is a new summer party series organized by House of Yes. They bring boutique festival vibes and dance party experiences into the wide open space for fresh-air pleasure. Under the K Bridge Park, at Gardner Avenue and Thomas Streets. Remaining tickets start at $30.
Meek Mill at Coney Art Walls
3 p.m. to midnight
If you were planning to be at Coney Island for the hot dog eating contest anyway, stick around for the Day Party, which began in 2018. The festivities will return to the Coney Art Walls (3050 Stillwell Avenue) on July 4 with a headlining live show by Meek Mill, a full slate of performances, and a DJ lineup featuring Spade and Chase B — and maybe a surprise or two. An epic fireworks display will follow the event’s all-star performances. $39.
Family fireworks cruise
Boards at 6:30, departs at 7:30 sharp
A front-row, family fireworks cruise along the Brooklyn waterfront aboard the Nautical Empress, which will include a complimentary hot buffet, cash bar, music by DJ Snap and faceprinting for kids. Tickets are selling fast despite the $175 price tag. The cruise ships off from Brooklyn Army Terminal at 140 58th Street.
Rooftop party at Brooklyn Grange
7 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Watch New York City light up to the backdrop of Lady Liberty. Classic summertime eats, all you can drink beer and wine, specialty cocktails, live music, aura photographs, tarot readings and a stunning rooftop view of New York City’s Fireworks. Brooklyn Grange at Sunset Park, 850 3rd Avenue. $165.
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