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Renegade Craft Fair
For close to a decade, this has not only showcased some of the best DIY craftmakers in Brooklyn, but also made it way easier than usual to actually find and purchase all the cool stuff they’re making (and believe us, it never fails to be cool). If you really have your life together, this would be an ideal place to get your holiday shopping out of the way, but if not, a good time will still be had by all. Did we mention there’s lots of food, too?
June 22-23, East River State Park
Fort Greene’s Juneteenth Arts Festival
What could possibly be better than a scenic, outdoor summer arts festival in Fort Greene, you ask? A scenic, outdoor summer arts festival in Fort Greene with incredible wordplay in its name and major historical significance—it’s so named after June 19, 1865, the day when the last slaves in the US were emancipated, which has since become a nationwide day of celebration and reflection. Fort Greene’s is thrown by the Cooperative Culture Collective and features world-class dance and music performances, plenty of family-friendly activities, and even public health screenings.
June 15, Culyer Gore Park
Fort Greene Park Literary Festival
Every year, the New York Writers Coalition does the important work of keeping young writers not only busy but truly engaged for the summer with a series of free creative writing workshops held throughout the city. Registration for this year’s classes starts on June 10, with classes kicking off July 13, and the whole thing culminates at the end of August with the Fort Greene Park Literary Festival, a lovely day of readings from this summer’s crop of students alongside the acclaimed Brooklyn authors with whom they’ve been working.
August 24, 3pm, Fort Greene Park
Bushwick Block Party
In the few short years since it kicked off, this block party has already exploded into a reliably packed jumble of local food vendors (led by Roberta’s, the ones who are throwing the whole thing), dancing (thanks to DJ’s from the Tiki Disco lineup), and an assortment of other summer-appropriate diversions (think photobooths and water games). In other words, everything you’d expect from any self-respecting block party. And knowing Roberta’s, this year’s festivities will only be bigger and better, and, as usual for the brave souls who line up early for the first couple of hours, it comes with the promise of free margherita slices. Well worth the wait.
July 27, 261 Moore Street
Bushwick Open Studios
Granted, a good deal of this festival takes place, by necessity, indoors in artists’ studios. But wandering the Bushwick streets, popping in and out of exhibitions (and maybe a few bars along the way) is half the fun of BOS, which promises to be bigger than ever this year. If the sheer volume of options (569 registered studio shows, and a separate music festival to boot) is overwhelming, we recommend starting at Brooklyn Fireproof—which has exhibits both in its outdoor area and the studio space above—and working from there.
May 31-June 2, All Over Bushwick
Brooklyn Pride Parade and Festival
In Marty Markowitz’s final State of the Borough speech this year, he said Brooklyn had more lesbians than anywhere else on the Eastern seaboard. Which, good for us! Let’s celebrate our pride at this annual hootenanny-in-motion.
June 8, Fifth Avenue between Sterling Place and 9th Street
Photo by Winnie Au