- CALL NOW
TO BOOK YOUR TRIP
01 433 1040
021 236 4638
Chinese New Year
New York City's Chinatown is the largest in the United States and the site of the largest concentration of Chinese in the western hemisphere; a visit here feels like being in the country itself. It is a must-see on the opening day of the Chinese New Year celebrations when performers dance in the street in colourful costumes followed by a parade of dragon floats. Traditionally, the New Year marks the beginning of the spring and the rebirth of the Earth. It is a time for family togetherness, and begins with the 'sweeping of the grounds' - a spring clean to sweep out the old and evil, which is followed by festivities and feasts. Chinatown has over 200 restaurants representing cuisine from all the regions of China, and at New Year the suspicious should eat a whole fish as, to the Chinese, this represents togetherness and abundance; also don't chop up your noodles, as their length represents long life! Colour is also important at New Year. The luckiest colours are red, orange, yellow, gold and pink. Black and white are unlucky. In 2009 the year of the Ox begins.
Central Park SummerStage
Summer Stage is one of New York's greatest institutions, and every summer Central Park is filled with music, theatre, opera and dance. There is a different performance every Saturday and Sunday afternoon, and also usually on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday evenings, and most are free. Bring a picnic if you don't want to pay for overpriced beer and French fries. For a list of events visit the Summer Stage website.
ING New York City Marathon
As the world's largest marathon with more than 35,000 runners from around the world, only London ranks alongside New York in terms of prestige. The race passes through all of New York City's five boroughs before finishing in Central Park and is an entertaining spectacle with many runners in fancy dress; it is also a good opportunity to see some celebrities offer their best.
Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade
Thanksgiving (originally a harvest festival) is celebrated across the United States as families get together and feast on huge helpings of roast turkey. Macy's Thanksgiving Parade is one of the Big Apple's most dynamic and colourful events that takes the celebrations one stage further. Its origins date back to the 1920s when the city's European immigrants decided to celebrate the American Thanksgiving Day holiday with the sort of festivities they had known in their homelands. Hundreds of people marched from 145th Street to 34th Street in costume; accompanied by floats, live animals (on loan from the zoo) and musicians. The parade attracted over 250,000 spectators and quickly became an institution. Today the colourful parade features clowns and marching bands, but the biggest attraction are the Floats and Falloons (a Macy's hybrid of a cold air balloon and float) that tower over the crowds; they usually include Angelina Ballerina, The Statue of Liberty and of course, the man of the season, Santa Claus on his sleigh. The parade starts on 77th Street and proceeds down Central Park West to Columbus Circle, then down Broadway to Macy's at 34th St, finishing on Seventh Ave. Good places to watch it include Times Square and Columbus Circle, but get there early as by the afternoon the crowds are thick.
St Patrick's Day Parade
On St Patrick's Day every year thousands of Irish Americans head down 5th Avenue in New York's largest street parade. The day begins with a morning mass in St Patrick's Cathedral, after which the parade marches up 5th Avenue, clan by clan, from 44th to 86th streets. Green face paint, green nail polish, and green clothes are on display in the crowds but the parade itself is marked by more formal Irish pageantry, led by the 165th Infantry (originally the 69th Regiment of the 1850s). The annual parade honours the patron saint of Ireland and is a New York tradition that dates as far back as 1766, many years before the Declaration of Independence was adopted. After the parade New Yorkers of all origins dress in green and head to the nearest bar for a pint of the black stuff.
Macy's Fourth of July Fireworks Spectacular
Independence Day is celebrated throughout the States, but nowhere more than in New York City. Although many locals leave to spend the holiday on Long Island or in Upstate New York, thousands of others stay behind to watch Macy's Fourth of July Fireworks Spectacular. This is probably the biggest and best firework extravaganza in the country, culminating in a massive party. More than 10,000 fireworks explode from barges along the west side of Manhattan, synchronized and choreographed to music. It starts at sunset and the best place to watch is from the banks of the East River.
Commerce Bank Five Boro Bike Tour
The biggest cycling event in the USA, the bike tour sees 30,000 cyclists pedalling through the five boroughs of New York City on 42 miles (68km) of traffic-free avenues, highways and bridges, including the world's longest single-span suspension bridge, the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge. The route travels through Manhattan, the Bronx, Queens, Brooklyn and Staten Island. The day ends with a festival at Fort Wadsworth featuring live music, food and exhibitions.
Gay Pride Week and March
Rainbow flags flutter in Greenwich Village during New York's Lesbian and Gay Pride Week, with numerous events arranged to commemorate the Stonewall Riot. Highlights of the week's festivities are a massive rally, the dance on the pier and the culminating march.
Broadway on Broadway
A quintessential New York City event, Broadway on Broadway is the theatre season's annual kick-off event where live shows from almost every play and musical on Broadway, as well as sneak previews of shows for the new season, are performed on a giant outdoor stage to an audience of more than 50,000.
Times Square New Year�s Eve Celebrations
Times Square boasts one of the largest New Year's Eve celebrations in the world and the biggest party in New York. The famous lowering of the New Year's Eve Ball signifies the 60-second countdown to midnight and the tradition has become a worldwide symbol of welcoming in the New Year, viewed by millions across the globe. The festivities include the raising and lighting of the Ball, music, an hourly big screen video countdown, the lowering of the ball and a spectacular burst of fireworks. Revellers are showered with colourful confetti and are given celebratory hats, pom-poms and balloons to welcome in the New Year.
US Open Tennis Tournament
The top names and seeds vie for victory in the final Grand Slam event of the season in New York each year. Singles, doubles, men's and ladies, and mixed doubles make up the five separate tournaments within the championship. Held annually at Flushing Meadows-Corona Park in Queens, the event dates back to 1881 when it was played in the State of Rhode Island as a men's singles event only and it was not until 1968 that The US Open took the shape and structure that it has today.
Ninth Avenue International Food Festival
More than a million hungry people descend on the Hell's Kitchen neighbourhood for two days each May to sample the delights offered at one of New York's finest street fairs. Ninth Avenue's restaurants and food stores cover a vast range of ethnic cuisines, which have made it the city's most famed food district.
Pier Antiques Show
The internationally renowned Pier Antiques show is attended by celebrities, major designers and decorators from around the country, as well as shoppers from around the world. Over 500 exhibits completes the largest art and antiques event in New York, while Fashion Alley holds a huge selection of vintage fashions. It has been said that 'if you can't find it at Triple Pier it doesn't exist'!
Village Halloween Parade
What started out as a walk from house to house in the neighbourhood for friends and family by a mask maker and puppeteer in 1973, is today the largest celebration of its kind in the world, and one of New York's most colourful annual parties. Listed as one of the 'Top 100 Things to do Before you Die', the lively event attracts millions of spectators and participants every year who take part in a parade featuring huge papier-mâché puppets, jugglers, stilt-walkers, bands and dancers, and plenty of outrageous costumes.
Winter Solstice Concert
Making use of the largest Gothic cathedral in the world, the interior is turned into a stage for the musical, theatrical, dance and environmental spectacle that is an annual holiday tradition in celebration of the shortest day and longest night of the year. The performance is one of the city's biggest and showiest Christmas events and takes the audience on a symbolic journey, each year with its own unique style and special affects. For more information contact the cathedral on +1 212 316 7540.
New York Fashion Week
The fashion gurus, gorgeous models and Hollywood brass pop into the Big Apple to check out the latest on the catwalk for next year's Spring Collection. All the top names will be displaying their stuff but it is almost impossible for the general public to gain access to the event.