Sep 22, 2022
Festivals galore, and then some more: 14 things to do this weekend
Americana, butterflies, comedy, competitive Connect Four, a pet-centered art walk, and more, for the weekend starting Sept. 21
There’s some kind of festive gathering for just about everyone in the borough over the next few days. For music aficionados, the Brooklyn Americana Music Festival is staging dozens of free concerts throughout the city; for the block partier, there’s the Fort Greene Community Festival in the heart of the neighborhood; and for the Irish (or Irish-in-spirit), the Great Irish Fair of New York is back for its 41st year, just to name a few.
And if you’re looking beyond this weekend, Brooklyn comic (and Brooklyn Magazine contributor) Nick Youssef will be filming his first hourlong standup comedy special at the Zinc Bar in Greenwich Village this coming Tuesday. Details here.
Apart from that, there’s plenty to see and do over the next couple days. Here is what’s happening in Brooklyn this weekend.
Friday, September 23
Catch a show during the Brooklyn Americana Music Festival
Throughout the weekend
The 8th annual Brooklyn Americana Music Festival is back in the borough this weekend, bringing dozens of the country’s preeminent indie, folk, roots and country artists to a host of indoor and outdoor venues across the city including Brooklyn Bridge Park, the Dumbo Archway, Sunny’s in Red Hook, the 68 Jay Street Bar and more. All of the concerts throughout the weekend are free to attend and open to the public. A complete list of musicians, set times and venue details is available on the BKAMF website; you can also check out the festival’s Spotify playlist to get a taste of who’ll be performing.
Experience a monarch butterfly migration first-hand
This Friday, the NYC Pollinator Working Group is hosting its “Monarch Mixer” at Brooklyn Bridge Park’s Pier 3, marking a celebration of the iconic and vitally important monarch butterfly that has migrated through the land now known as New York for millennia. And while the black-and-orange butterfly’s numbers have dwindled in recent years, there’s still plenty to celebrate at this three-hour outdoor event, with park staff leading tours of their pollinator supporting gardens and giving demonstrations of “monarch tagging” before a scavenger hunt that’ll lead to food and drink stationed around the park. The “Monarch Mixer” is free to attend.
Express yourself at an open mic poetry night
Join Brooklyn Poets this Friday for a brand new program at its Brooklyn Heights HQ on Montague Street, which kicks off with a series of five-minute open mic opportunities from 6:30 to 7:45 p.m. before the evening’s two featured poets, Cassidy Gabriel and Isabella DeSendi, take the stage for a live reading at 8 o’clock. All advance open mic slots have already been filled, though the organizers will have a limited number of sign-ups available on a first come, first serve basis when doors open at 6 p.m. General admission tickets are available for $10, or $5 if you’d prefer to attend via Zoom, though Brooklyn Poets notes that virtually audience members won’t be able to read aloud.
Try your hand at a Connect Four tournament
Bushwick coffee shop Nook is hosting the city’s only Connect Four tournament this weekend, offering a “fun & legitimate” ranked bracket competition over the course of roughly two hours with a prize pool of $125. The tournament is open to everyone, though if you plan on participating, you may want to brush up on your Connect Four decision-making skills first, because Nook warns that gameplay will be timed using a chess clock. An online RSVP and $10 entry fee are required to participate, though it’s free if you’d just like to watch the action from the sidelines.
Submit your film to the Nitehawk Shorts Festival
As soon as possible
Submissions are now being accepted for next spring’s annual Nitehawk Shorts Festival, which has celebrated independent filmmakers and their craft in Brooklyn for nearly a decade. Regardless of experience or genre, almost all films are welcome as long as they’re under 20 minutes in length, with juries throughout the five-day festival awarding prizes including thousands of dollars worth of post-production services and Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts members. You can submit your short film via Nitehawk’s web portal until November 28; the festival begins March 1, 2023.
Saturday, September 24
See some street art while supporting pet rescues
The Paws and Walls Art Run & Walk takes pets and their owners on a circuit around the city for a good cause. Hosted by the Brooklyn Running Company’s Williamsburg location from 9 to 10:30 a.m., attendees will have their choice of running two miles or walking one as they zig-zag between some of Brooklyn’s finest murals and street art scenes — though organizers note that both options will have breaks for photos “and sniffing!” In-person tickets are $35 each for both the walking and running routes, with half of those proceeds going to Big East Akita Rescue.
Head to the 41st annual Great Irish Fair of New York
We’re now less than six months away from St. Patrick’s Day, which means the Great Irish Fair of New York is back in Brooklyn once again, replete with cultural trappings including live Irish music, step dancing performances, a number of vendors and more. Now at its new location, the Holy Name of Jesus Parish in Prospect Park, tickets are $25 each with festivities getting underway at 11 a.m., though for the diehard attendees, the 41st annual fair will be preceded by a 9 o’clock mass on site.
Go behind the scenes of the historic Kings Theatre
Originally opened as a movie house in the 1920s before finding new life as a performing arts venue in the past few years, Brooklyn’s nearly century-old Kings Theatre in Flatbush is reopening its backstage doors for one of the final times in 2022 this weekend as it prepares for its penultimate all-access public tour of the year. Starting at 1 o’clock, this guided tour — which organizers note is not wheelchair accessible — costs $25 per person, though it has historically sold out several days in advance, so act quickly if you’re interested. If you miss out, the Kings Theatre will run another such behind-the-scenes tour on Saturday, December 10.
Get schooled in ‘Government 101’ with Sen. Julia Salazar
Do you want to better understand the levels of government and how they interact with each other? Do you want to make sure the voices of you and your community are heard in Albany? If so, then swing by “Intro to Government 101” at the Brooklyn Public Library’s Leonard Branch in Williamsburg on Saturday afternoon, where State Sen. Julia Salazar — whose 18th district covers much of Brooklyn — and a special guest, cartoonist and author Sofia Warren, will lead a discussion about the whos, hows and whys of government. The talk is free to attend as is slated to run from 1 to 3 p.m.
Mix and mingle with your Fort Greene neighbors
The Fort Greene Community Festival is this Saturday afternoon at Fort Greene Park in the heart of the neighborhood, just one block north of the Fulton Street G and Lafayette Avenue C subway stops. Runnings from 1 to 3 p.m., the outdoor event will feature everything from live music to a pet portrait painter to grand prize giveaways, so swing by — the forecast for Saturday looks as ideal as a late September weekend could be.
Listen to a few of Brooklyn’s top blues artists
The Brooklyn Blues Society is reviving its Big Eyed Blues Festival for the 12th time this weekend, with a three-hour command performance on the agenda this Saturday evening at BKLYN Commons on Flatbush Avenue. “An intergenerational event that will take place in an underserved community of Bedford Stuyvesant,” organizers say, the festival officially includes a number of shows from this Thursday to Sunday. Tickets for the Saturday performance at 7 p.m., which will feature the likes of Clarence Spady, Antoinette Montague and the Alexis P. Suter Band, are available online for $30 each or $35 at the door.
Sunday, September 25
Paint ‘a view to die for’ at Green-Wood Cemetery
This Sunday, the Guild of Adventure Painters invites you to descend on the city’s sprawling Green-Wood Cemetery with them to express your creativity and paint, sketch or doodle the acreage’s rolling hills and towering monuments. The Guild’s “A View to Die For: Community Painting Day” is free to participate in and open to all ages, with attendees welcome to “join for the whole afternoon, or pop in for an hour” at this judgement-free conversation-slash-informal art class, for which each person must bring their own supplies. Reservations are encouraged so organizers can get a feel for attendance numbers.
Celebrate the High Holidays
Rosh Hashanah begins this Sunday evening, though if you don’t have anyone to eat apples and honey with — or if you and your family just enjoy having a sense of community — there are a couple of events going on in Brooklyn that have you covered. The Beach Haven Jewish Center in Gravesend is hosting its evening High Holiday services starting at 7 p.m., while Congregation Beth Elohim in Park Slope is putting on its Sephardi Egalitarian High Holiday gathering at 6:30, which includes both a service and seder. Shana tova.
Laugh along with am improv performance
“Old Yorkers” describes itself as a long-form improv show featuring comedy veterans from art troupe Improv Everywhere, “The Daily Show,” “Broad City” and more. Happening at The Gutter, a 14th Street bar in Williamsburg, tickets for the two-hour show are available online for just $7 each. The performance and venue are 21-and-over, with organizers reminding guests that they must have a valid ID to enter.
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