August isn’t over yet, but this weekend is your last chance to participate in Summer Streets. In addition to riding, running, or walking down Park Avenue, check out our other picks for the best eating, drinking, and merrymaking on Saturday and Sunday. You won’t be disappointed. By Jessica Allen.
New York International Fringe Festival
The largest multi-arts festival in North America arrives, the New York International Fringe Festival features more than 1200 shows from more than 200 companies. Several major theatrical performances got their start at the Fringe, including Matt & Ben, a satirical play about Matt Damon and Ben Affleck that helped launch the career of Mindy Kaling. Friday, August 8 through Sunday, August 24, see schedule for details, tickets required.
Inspired by car-free, pedestrian-only events in Bogotá and Paris, New York City began Summer Streets a few years ago. This Saturday, you can stroll, bike, amble, and/or run without a care for street lights or vehicle traffic for roughly seven miles along Park Avenue. Stop off along the way to frolic with your four-footed furry friend at PAWS and Play Dog Park, to hop on a free bike rental, to attend a cooking demonstration, or to visit a sound installation beneath the avenue, among other activities. Saturday, August 16, 7 am to 1 pm, free.
Coney Island Sand Sculpting Contest
Test your creativity and understanding of spatial relations at the annual Sand Sculpting Contest in Coney Island, now in its 24th year. Get there early if you want to compete; categories include individual kids, individual adults, and groups. Professionals will be on hand to offer demos and tips, and you can always nosh along the midway, dip your toes in the ocean, or take a ride on a roller coast. Saturday, August 16, from 12 to 5 pm, free, but you should pre-register if you want to enter.
This weekend concludes the weeklong Drive East, a festival of classical Indian dance and concerts. Held at La MaMa Experimental Theatre Club, the performances offer audience members the chance to hear such music as Hindustani vocals, sitar, Carnatic vocals, flute, and tabla, and watch such dances as the chhau, kathak, sattriya, and kuchipudi, in a very personal, very intimate atmosphere, Saturday, August 16, and Sunday, August 17, see schedule for prices and ticket information.
Harlem Family Day
SummerStage, the city’s largest free performing arts festival, seeks to “enrich the lives of New Yorkers” by exposing them to emerging, contemporary, and traditional artists in an array of genres, from dance to music to drama to literature. Harlem Family Day offers performances and concerts fit for the whole family. Events include 10-year-old prodigy Kojo Odu Roney performing on drums and Sweet Billy and the Zooloos, a hip-hop musical. Sunday, August 17, from 4 to 7 pm, free.