The 2021 NYC Hot Sauce Expo (Scott Lynch)
Sep 28, 2023
Americana! Books! Hip-hop! 21 things to do this festival-filled weekend
Hot Wheels roll into Barclays Center and the NYC Hot Sauce Expo returns. Plus, Oktoberfest stumbles on
The first complete weekend of fall is in full swing, and with it comes a festival for every taste.
The Brooklyn Americana Music Festival is pickin’ through October 1. The Brooklyn Book Festival is flipping pages through October 2. Brooklyn Rocks Music Festival celebrates hip-hop’s 50th birthday, and the Brooklyn Downtown Arts Festival takes place on Friday and Saturday.
The Bk Flea Record Fair sets up shop in Marsha P. Johnson State Park on Saturday, and you can cap off the evening on your bike with the Prospect Park Moon & Magic Ride. On Sunday, the Dynamite Youth Center host a walk-a-thon to fight America’s fentanyl epidemic. You can file this one under kinda gross: On Sunday morning, the NYC Pizza Run invites you to run a 5K and eat two slices of pie in the middle of the route.
Get out there and have a breezy fall weekend with our 21 things to do.
Friday, September 29
Oktoberfest in Brooklyn
Various times and locations all weekend
Oktoberfest, everyone’s favorite annual beery bonanza is back. There will be no shortage of steins, sausages, lederhosen and feats of strength on display all over the borough. Here’s a taste of the events in Brooklyn this weekend:
- Zum Schneider’s famous annual Oktoberfest Tent returns to Brooklyn from September 29 through October 8. Their theme is “Munich in Brooklyn” at host venue 3 Dollar Bill, and there’s a price point for every budget, so check out their Eventbrite for tickets.
- Blocktoberfest is a feast of hoppy delights in Industry City on September 30. It’s the city’s only event featuring every member of the NYC Brewers Guild, and there are even drinks for non-beer drinkers. The fest has several different ticket levels, so imbibe to your wallet’s delight.
- Celebrate Oktoberfest at TALEA Beer Co., complete with TALEA branded stein glasses and the brewery’s own Bavarian pretzels. Your $60 ticket gives you bottomless refills for 2.5 hours.
- Both of Black Forest’s Brooklyn locations (Fort Greene and Cobble Hill) are hosting Oktoberfest parties on weekends through October 21. Tickets start at $15 for entry, and you can add on three hours of unlimited beer for $45.
- Radegast Hall will also have a brass band, stein-holding competitions and a ceremonial keg-tapping. 113 N 3rd St. 7 to 11 p.m.
The Brooklyn Americana Music Festival
Now through October 1
The 9th annual Brooklyn Americana Music Festival is a four-day affair with more than 20 free live music events (mostly happening in Dumbo). This year’s festival boasts over 60 percent female-identifying artists and takes place along the waterfront at The Dumbo Archway in venues along the Brooklyn waterfront. 315 Columbia Street. Tickets start at $10.
The Brooklyn Book Festival
Now through October 2
The Brooklyn Book Festival is a nine-day extravaganza currently underway through October 2, featuring authors from all over the world and right here in Brooklyn. A couple of highlights: Kids can meet and create projects with their favorite authors on Children’s Day September 30, followed by the Festival Day and Literary Marketplace, the city’s largest free literary celebration, on October 1.
Brooklyn Rocks Music Festival
8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday and Saturday
Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation hosts Brooklyn Rocks, a weekend celebration of hip-hop’s 50th Anniversary in the heart of Bed-Stuy this Friday and Saturday. Come for the hip-hop symposium on Friday, featuring two panels composed of elected officials and guests from the music industry. On Saturday, there’s a block party with DJs, Skaterobics Roller Skating, double Dutch and a community graffiti mural. Restoration Plaza, located at 1368 Fulton Street. Free.
Downtown Brooklyn Arts Festival
5 to 8 p.m. on Friday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday
The DBAF is an annual celebration of Downtown Brooklyn’s cultural community and the artists who inspire the borough’s creative spirit. LayeRhythm kicks off the fest on Friday night with a play-based performance of freestyle street and club dance. There are a ton of things starting at 11 a.m. on Saturday including an instrument petting zoo, which sounds like a great way to introduce kids to making music. Head over to their website for the full lineup and come out to celebrate local arts. The Plaza at 300 Ashland, 85 Flatbush Avenue.
Sissy Fest celebrates all types and performances of “sissies,” whatever that means to you. It’s an event for all genders, sexualities and expressions. Come out to Rubulad for a night of drag, live bands and DJs, go-go dancers, and a flea market featuring queer local artists and businesses. The star of the evening is Koco Caine of the Boulet Brothers’ Dragula. 389 Melrose Street.
Saturday, September 30
1oth Annual NYC Hot Sauce Expo
10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday and Sunday
Can you handle the heat? The capsaicin fever dream that is the NYC Hot Sauce Expo will be held at Industry City for the first time this year. The two day tasting bonanza will feature the greatest hot sauce companies in the world, “The Stage of DOOM,” “The Guinness Book of Records Reaper Eating Contest,” craft beers, Specialty cocktails, spicy food vendors, milk, antacid and more. Industry City, 51 34th Street. Tickets start at $15.
Brooklyn Flea Record Fair
11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
The Brooklyn Flea Record Fair returns on Saturday to celebrate 12 years of vinyl pleasures. Find your new favorite wax at Marsha P. Johnson State Park alongside Smorgasburg and explore over 40 labels, record stores and collectors while sipping on cold drinks and enjoying a variety of food options. 90 Kent Avenue.
Hot Wheels Monster Trucks Live Glow Party
12:30 to 2:30 p.m. and 7:30 to 9:30 p.m.
Move over, Barbie, it’s Hot Wheels’ turn. The Hot Wheels Monster Trucks Live Glow Party kicks up some dirt at Barclays Center on Saturday for an afternoon and evening of neon-draped big-wheel monster trucks. See your kid’s favorite Hot Wheels Monster Trucks like Mega Wrex, Boneshaker, Gunkster and the all-new Brooklyn Nets Monster Truck. There’s also a dance party, laser light shows and Hot Wheels toy giveaways. 620 Atlantic Avenue. Tickets are $37 to $87.
The Joe Hill Revival
7 to 9:30 p.m., and every Saturday in October
Unions are having a moment, from the auto industry to Hollywood, so it’s the perfect time to share the story of Joe Hill. This original musical is about songwriter and Industrial Workers of the World activist Joe Hill, who was executed by the state of Utah in 1915. Brooklyn Art Haus hosts this update to Hill’s legacy. 24 Marcy Avenue. Tickets are $25.
Prospect Park Moon & Magic Ride
7:15 to 8:15 p.m.
The Museum of Reclaimed Urban Space hosts a night bike ride on Saturday night. Meet at Grand Army Plaza entrance to Prospect Park across the street from the arch where the Saturday Greenmarket takes place. You’ll discover the park at night with a peaceful ride that visits its little-known treasures. Bike lights are recommended.
It’s pretty simple: Do you like Drake, Beyoncé, The Weeknd, etc.? Then Baby’s All Right has the prom for you. Tear up the dance floor with mixes by FML Jesse, Quiggle and Archie. Baby’s says they’ll have free drinks, too, so consider this deal sweetened. 146 Broadway. Tickets are $15.
Sunday, October 1
DYC 26th Annual Walk-a-thon
10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Walk with the Dynamite Youth Center on Sunday to fight America’s fentanyl epidemic. For over 50 years, DYC has rehabilitated adolescents and young adults and helped them grow into healthy, caring young people who give back to the community. American Veterans Memorial Pier, 69th Street Pier/Shore Road Bike Path. Free.
NYC Pizza Run
Spend the first day of October at the 13th annual NYC Pizza Run. Participants will be faced with the challenge of completing a 5K race while stopping at checkpoints throughout the course to eat two slices of pizza. Sounds gross. But kind of fun? Stick around for an afterparty at DSK Brooklyn (710 Fulton St). Registration fee includes a t-shirt, tote bag, race bib, pizza and a drink at the after-party. Fort Greene Park, Myrtle Avenue at Washington Park. Registration is $55.
12 to 6 p.m.
Brooklyn’s largest and oldest street festival celebrates 48 years on October 1. The Atlantic Antic Festival began in the 1970s to reintroduce New Yorkers and visitors to Atlantic Avenue with dining, shopping, and opportunities to explore its history. The long-running tradition returns with live music, fresh eats and drinks, and more artisanal vendors than you could possibly visit. See the festival map for various entrances.
A Benefit For Ukraine
This Ukraine benefit concert is hosted by Michael Imperioli (Christopher from the “Sopranos”), his band Zopa, and the New York band Loose Buttons, fronted by Eric Nizgretsky (a Brooklyn-born, first-generation Ukrainian-American with Kyiv roots). Proceeds will benefit Kind Deeds, which provides prosthetics to those injured in the war, and Razom, which helps provide much-needed supplies to the country’s wounded and displaced. 146 Broadway. Tickets are $26.
Bushwick’s Dead: Disco Dead & SEAP
Bushwick’s Dead is a series featuring a rotating roster of local jam bands on the first Sunday of the month at Brooklyn Made. This month you can see SEAP, aka Sarah Elaz’s Almost Phish, an NYC-based female-fronted Phish-ish band, and Disco Dead, a show dedicated to the art of disco-ifying Grateful Dead Tunes, brought to life by the creative forces of Moonfisher. 428 Troutman Street. Tickets are $15.
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