Autumn is festival and parade season in New York City. Here are some of the big ones, coming up soon:
- The German-American Steuben Parade—This annual event held this year on Sept. 16 celebrates German-American culture and heritage. Named for Baron Von Steuben, a general in the American Revolutionary War, the colorful parade includes marching bands, dancers, and lots of others wearing traditional German costumes. The noon-3 p.m. parade travels up Fifth Avenue from 68th to 86th Streets. The festivities also include a traditional Oktoberfest celebration in Central Park’s Rumsey Playfield. There’s always plenty of good beer on tap and an assortment of bratwurst and other German delicacies available, along with great entertainment by Spitze!, The Polka Brothers, and other bands. There’ll also be the 9th annual national steinholding championship known as Masskrugstemmen, sponsored by Hofbrau Bier. Tickets to Oktoberfest are $31, and the festivities will take place from 1:30-7:30 p.m. Sept. 16. For more information click here.
- The Feast of San Gennaro—Taking place on the streets of Little Italy since 1926, this 10-day festival honors the patron Saint of Naples. From Sept. 14-24, Mulberry Street will be alive with parades, religious processions, live music, and lots and lots of delectable food! The highlight is September 19th, San Gennaro’s official feast day, where a special Mass is held in the Shrine Church of the Most Precious Blood on Mulberry Street followed by a religious procession where the Statue of San Gennaro carried through the streets. There’s plenty of live entertainment, along with appearances by actor Tony Danza (who dished out sausage heroes last year) and A Bronx Tale’s Chazz Palmentieri. For more information click here.
- The Columbus Day Parade—Honoring the Italian explorer who discovered America in 1492, this parade takes place on the second Monday of October (Oct. 9, this year). More than 35,000 marchers participate, along with colorful floats and marching bands. The event is considered to be the largest celebration of Italian-American culture in the country, attracting nearly one million spectators. This year, the parade is led by Grand Marshal Leonard Riggio, Chairman of Barnes & Noble. The parade travels up Fifth Ave. from 44th to 72nd Streets with a special “red carpet” area between 67th and 69th Streets for stage acts. The parade lasts from 11:30 a.m.-3 p.m., and practically invites spectators to seek out their favorite Italian restaurant for a good meal afterward. For more information click here.