It’s time to pack up the beach towels and take your final sips of rosé, because Labor Day weekend has arrived, marking the unofficial end of summer. Luckily, there’s plenty going on in the city — including the US Open, now in full swing in Flushing — to help you send out the season in style.
From outdoor concerts to art exhibits to rollicking cultural celebrations, here are the happenings in New York City that are sure to keep thoughts of autumn away — at least for the next three days.
Keepin’ it wheel
Test out your balance on one of the many one-wheeled vehicles provided at the ninth annual NYC Unicycle Festival on Saturday and Sunday. For those who’ve already learned the basics, there’s also a jump-rope contest (as in jumping while on the unicycle) and sumo wrestling (you guessed it — also while on unicycle).
“It’s very much using skill more so than muscle,” says event director Keith Nelson of the wrestling. “Because we’ve seen a 9-year-old girl throwing off a 25-year-old fella!” Free. Noon to 5 p.m.; near Castle Williams on Governors Island; NYCUniFest.com
Rio on 6th
Sixth Avenue in Midtown will be awash in yellow and green on Sunday as folks celebrate Brazilian Day in honor of the country’s independence. Globo TV’s Ana Furtado hosts the event — the largest annual Brazilian celebration outside of Brazil — featuring live performances from the likes of country duo Matheus & Kauan, rockers Os Paralamas do Sucesso and forró singer Eduarda Brasil.
“My favorite part is when everything is finally ready and you go onstage, look down on Sixth Avenue and you can’t really see where the crowd ends,” says André Dias, director of special projects at Globo TV, the event’s main partner. “It’s magical.” 11 a.m.; Sixth Avenue from 42nd Street to Central Park.; BrazilianDay.com/En
Movie stars under the stars
Pack a blanket, grab the kids, and head to one of three NYC Parks screening free family-friendly fare under the night sky this weekend. Saturday at 7:30 p.m., the action-packed “Avengers: Age of Ultron” shows in The Bronx’s Joyce Kilmer Park (E. 161st to E. 164th streets between Walton Ave. and Grand Concourse), while the magical “A Wrinkle in Time” will delight at Harlem’s Frederick Douglass Playground (100th to 102nd streets on Amsterdam Ave.). Then on Sunday, flip your fins over to Queens’ Yellowstone Park (Yellowstone Blvd. between 68th Road and 68th Avenue at 108th Street in Forest Hills) for an 8 p.m. viewing of Disney’s “The Little Mermaid.” Free. NYCGovParks.org
New York International Salsa Congress
Latin dance pros and the people who love them should head to the Marriott Marquis in Times Square for the 18th New York International Salsa Congress. The event, running through Sunday, features workshops during the day in various styles for all skill levels. Get your rest in ahead of time — performance showcases kick off at 8 p.m., followed by music and dancing till 4 a.m.
“It looks like a competition. It looks like everyone is trying to outdo each other,” says Luis Guerrero, co-owner of the NYISC. “But my recommendation is you go and get your feet wet. Everybody’s there to have fun!” Passes start at $60 for the evening. New York Marriott Marquis, 1535 Broadway; NewYorkSalsaCongress.com
Nights at the opera
Class up your weekend by taking in a little opera with free screenings of filmed performances outside at Lincoln Center Plaza — thanks to the Metropolitan Opera’s Summer HD Festival. Arrive in time, and you can claim one of the 3,000 seats provided. On the schedule: “Un Ballo in Maschera,” Saturday at 8 p.m.; “Der Rosenkavalier,” Sunday at 7:15 p.m.; and “Madama Butterfly,” starring Kristine Opolais, Monday at 8 p.m. Free. Lincoln Center Plaza at Columbus Ave.; MetOpera.org
Eighty-two artists were selected out of 800 applicants by the nonprofit 4heads to show at the 11th annual Governors Island Art Fair. Inside and outside eight of the historic houses on Colonels Row, the artists will display their works. Everything’s for sale, but you’re more than welcome to just browse it like it’s a museum (even if you’ve never set foot in a museum).
“We try to make it so it’s open to everyone and try to eliminate that sort of snobbery of some art institutions,” explains co-founder Jack Robinson.
Don’t miss the highly Instagrammable cave of wonder by Samuelle Green, crafted by inserting hand-rolled pages ripped from books inserted through loops of chicken wire. Robinson calls it “mind-blowing.” Free. Saturdays and Sundays through Sept. 30, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.; 4heads.org
Hot! hot! hot!
The annual New York Caribbean Carnival Parade (formerly called the West Indian Day Parade) on Monday is an ode to Caribbean-American culture — the food, the history, the people and more. Expect bold music and even bolder costumes in dazzling, vibrant colors. Newbies might want to wear something they don’t mind getting a little messy — well-intentioned revelers are known to toss powdered paint. Free. 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Eastern Parkway from Schenectady Avenue to Empire Boulevard in Brooklyn; WIADCACarnival.org
The classic county fair at Historic Richmond Town, Staten Island’s old-timey museum complex, offers all types of family fun through Monday. Among the highlights are unlimited carnival rides, a petting zoo, pie-eating contests, and of course fried food galore. New additions this year include “Food Truck Alley,” down Richmond Road, a beer garden with performers all weekend long, and a display from the Staten Island Car Club. Plus, pony rides have returned (for an additional fee of $5).
“What better way to view our beautiful historic village than by horseback?” says the fair’s organizer Melissa Perez. “The rides will take guests away from the noise of the midway to desolate and scenic areas.” $16 for adults, $11 for kids and seniors, free for kids less than 30 inches tall. 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Historic Richmond Town, 441 Clarke Ave., Staten Island; HistoricRichmondTown.org
Dance to the music
For the season’s final Warm Up — MoMA PS1’s hip, outdoor concert party — the Saturday roster includes the hilarious hip-hop artist Lizzo and the femme DJs of Discwoman. Yaeji, Gang Gang Dance, AceMo and Logan Takahashi round out the carefully selected list.
“I can’t think of many other festivals that prioritize the curatorial integrity of the lineup over big-name performers,” says curator Taja Cheek, who adds that there will be “plenty of room to dance with music lovers of all kinds.” $22 day of, $18 in advance. Noon to 9 p.m.; MoMA PS1, 22-25 Jackson Ave., Long Island City; MoMA.org
Still in style
Spend your Saturday afternoon chowing down on hot dogs at the Coney Island Nathan’s before checking out the Coney Island Freestyle Funhouse concert celebrating the throwback genre of freestyle. Stevie B — known for his 1990 hit “Because I Love You (The Postman Song)” — and “Bad of the Heart” singer George LaMond are among the performers, along with Brenda K. Starr, TKA and the Sugarhill Gang also on the bill. $25 and up. 5 p.m.; Ford Amphitheater at Coney Island Boardwalk, 3052 W. 21st St., Coney Island; FordAmphitheaterConeyIsland.com
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