deVivre Concierge's Top 5 NYC Festivals this month
When summer really gets going our best advice isn't to beat the heat, it's to join it (your valiant-yet-struggling AC will thank you). Our deVivre destinations of choice? The veritable cornucopia of festivals and celebrations happening all over the city. After all, if you're going to be breaking a sweat anyway you might as well do it boogieing down with a plate full of ribs instead of sitting in your apartment googling "Ice Hotel Rates" (that being said, if you want to book a trip to Jukkasjärvi, get in touch).
Our social calendar is rapidly filling up, so here are our must-go picks for the city's freshest festivals + celebrations this month.
- Ecofest, Sunday, Aug 6th: Anyone who doesn't believe climate change is real should spend some time in Times Square in August. Just kidding (kind of). This environmentally-conscious festival right in the city's beating heart is set up like a World's Fair of alternative futures. With bio-diesel displays, solar panel and urban turbine workshops, live music, and an Eco-Fashion Show (proving that even 100% organic and recycled materials can be too sexy for the catwalk), this feel-good celebration also offers a full range of ways to get involved. As a bonus, deVivre has a few two-for-one tickets to see Al Gore's new documentary, An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power, which opens this weekend. Interested? Drop a line.
-The 12th Annual Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival, Saturday and Sunday, August 12th and 13th: Based on an ancient Chinese legend, the Dragon Boat Festival is one of the hidden gems of the lunar calendar. With dumplings galore, Shaolin monks performing on the mainstage, steel drums, and storytellers, there's so many amazing things to do, see, and eat, that you might miss the fierce competition happening on Meadow Lake. Don't. These legendary Dragon Boats, with their frenetic paddling teams, are wonder to behold. Grab a bao and head on over (or, let deVivre pack you a picnic and save you a spot by the finish line).
-The 18th Annual Blues BBQ festival, Saturday, August 19th: When Sam Cooke sang "just like the river I've been running ever since", he was talking about the Mississippi. But when you want to channel those sultry summer Memphis vibes, the Hudson will do just fine. Head west on 59th street until you hit the river and you'll find the best blues and roots musicians getting down alongside offerings from New York City’s favorite BBQ restaurants. This includes gospel music from The Campbell Brothers, the amazing soulful voice of Terrie Odabi, and the New Orlean’s funk and jazz band, Dumpstaphunk. Just try not to dance so hard you get covered in vinegar and red sauce from Dinosaur BBQ and Mighty Quinns.
-The 17th annual International Salsa Congress, Saturday August 31st-September 3: We think that this session of the International Salsa Congress probably gets called to order with a timbale instead of a gavel. Hear ye, hear ye, this festival of fresh Latin American grooves will have live bands, djs, performance showcases (a.k.a dance-offs), classes, and "non-stop social dancing". Try as you might, we dare you not to shake a tailfeather. We actually know someone who met their wife at this thing a few years ago. Taking that into consideration, we're always available should the need arise for a last-minute hotel reservation. The rhythm is gonna get you.
-The 8th annual Unicycle Fest, Saturday, August 31-September 3rd: The best way to celebrate the end of summer? Riding off into the sunset...on a unicycle. With unicycle hockey, basketball, and sumo wrestling(?!), long-distance marathons across the Brooklyn Bridge, and an American-Gladiator-style obstacle course, the opportunities for one-wheeled madness are essentially endless. And, if you want to try it yourself, there will be plenty of uni-workshops and beginners riding zones. Zany and ridiculous, just like we like it.
Now get out there and enjoy yourself! Summer will be gone before we know it!
(Photo cred: hkdbf-ny.org)