The Strangest Most Fun Events in NYC this Summer



Many of New York City’s summer events fall outside the realm of normalcy. There are eccentric gatherings like a massive water fight in Central Park and the world’s most popular eating contest at Coney Island. Here, we share the strangest, most fun events in NYC this summer.

Mermaid Parade

June 20th

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What’s Strange: Mermaid costumes and nudity.

This annual Coney Island party touts itself as the largest parade in the nation, which is a trip seeing that it’s a “celebration of ancient mythology and honky-tonk rituals of the seaside.” Costumes are known for showing a little extra skin, but it’s all in good fun.

Make Music New York

June 21st

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What’s Strange: Over 1,000 free concerts in one day.

The New York edition of Make Music—a worldwide event with over 700 participating cities—is a full day of free concerts and dance performances at parks and street corners in all five boroughs. Check out the lineup (announced at the end of May) here.

Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest

4th of July

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What’s Strange:The world’s most watched eating contest.

Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest is the Super Bowl of competitive eating, taking place every year at Coney Island. ESPN televises the event, and thousands come out to watch champs like Joey Chestnut and Matt Stonie square off.

Flight of the Conchords

July 24th

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What’s Strange: The lyrics, the music, the band.

Catch wacky songs like “Hiphopopotamus vs Rhymenoceros” and “Albi the Racist Dragon” from Flight of the Conchords at Central Park’s SummerStage concert series. The Grammy-winning New Zealand folk duo rose to fame thanks to successive BBC and HBO series, and their live performances have earned them something of a cult following.

Waterfight NYC

Sometime in Late July

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What’s Strange: Grownups dressed as superheroes, and all out water gun warfare.

Thousands of grownups and children dress up as superheroes (if you’re not feeling creative, a swimsuit will do) and converge on Central Park’s Great Lawn for an afternoon of supersoaker anarchy and laughter. Keep up with the event’s Facebook page, as the date doesn’t come out until summer’s in full swing.

NYC Unicycle Festival

September 2nd-4th


What’s Strange: Unicyclists take over the city.

Unicycle rides, lessons, and games like hockey, basketball and sumo wrestling (on unicycles!) take place all over town in iconic spots that include Central Park, Governors Island, Brooklyn Bridge, and Battery Park.

Jazz Age Lawn Party

June 11th & 12th and August 13th & 14th

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What’s Strange: Flappers and Gatbsys doing the Charleston.

The Jazz Age Lawn Party draws the nostalgic set out to Governors Island for a day of playing records on antique gramophones, learning how to do 1920s dances like the Charleston, and listening live jazz music.

cover image @jazzagelawnparty

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