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    New York in May: events and parades in the city

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    Lluis Enric Mayans

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    May is one of the best months to visit New York. The cold snowy winter of the Big Apple is now far away and the temperatures are perfect for being outdoors in one of the many parks of the metropolis, walking among the skyscrapers and monuments of New York or taking public transport for excursions outside the city or in the neighborhoods around Manhattan.

    Every month is good to go up the Empire State Building, visit Ground Zero or go to a Broadway show, but there are also many events in New York so you must be lucky enough to come at the right time; So let's see which are the most interesting during the month of May, along with some basic information on the temperatures that await you in this period.


    • Climate in New York in May
    • Main events in New York in May
      • Fleet Week
      • Memorial Day
      • Cherry Blossom Festival
      • Five Boro Bike Tour
      • Dance Parade & Festival
      • The 9th Avenue International Food Festival

    Climate in New York in May

    Temperatures in New York in May range between 12 and 22 degrees, so even the night is no longer very cold. As with all spring and autumn months, I recommend that you dress in layers and don't forget an umbrella or raincoat. Closed, waterproof and obviously comfortable shoes as, even though New York has a great public transit system, you will certainly walk a lot. Sunny days are on average 19, but rainy days are not lacking, between 7 and 9 with an average of 3 beautiful thunderstorms. For more details on the climate of the Big Apple, read our article on when to go to New York.

    Main events in New York in May

    May is a great month to see New York. If you have not yet chosen your dates, remember that the period close to the Memorial Day weekend at the end of the month, while full of events, is generally more expensive than the other weeks of the month for both flights and hotels. Of course, by booking in advance you can always find good deals (always check out the flight + hotel packages to NY).

    Fleet Week

    Fleet Week, which usually falls over the Memorial Day weekend period, is a full week of celebrations and events in honor of the US Navy, the Coast Guard and the Marine Corps. Fleet Week begins with various ships and boats parading imposingly on the Hudson River and then continuing for seven days with parades, military demonstrations and various events located between Pier 92, Staten Island and Eisenhower Park.

    From Pier 88 you can access some ships that are open to the public for the occasion and can therefore be visited. At Pier 86 between West 46th Street and 12th Avenue, in Hells Kitchen, you will find the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum which this week offers special events and activities for the whole family.

    Memorial Day

    The last Monday of May is celebrated throughout the United States Memorial Day to remember people who fell in war. Being a Monday and May generally a month with good weather, the Memorial Day long weekend is an opportunity for trips, outdoor barbecues with family and friends and 'out of town' trips for many Americans.

    New York is therefore a destination for many vacationers. The anniversary is linked to the military world and, in addition to the Fleet Week celebrations, every single neighborhood in New York has its own parade. The one that takes place in Queens, the Little Neck-Douglaston Parade, is the largest, while the one in Brooklyn is the oldest.

    Cherry Blossom Festival

    Over 200 cherry trees blossom in a riot of muted colors in the Brooklyn Botanical Garden, at 990 Washington Avenue. Although April is the best month to admire them, May may still give you the opportunity to find the serenity and harmony that cherry blossoms bring to those who observe them.

    The Festival is also full of events connected to nature and the Japanese world with its traditions and innovations. If spring has started early and the cherry trees are already losing their blossoms, the Brooklyn Botanic Garden is still an interesting site for its rich variety of plants and flowers.

    Five Boro Bike Tour

    An outdoor sporting event could not be missing in the New York spring and we know New York does things big: the Five Boro Bike Tour is the event loved by cyclists and more. 32000 people participate in this bike race on the streets of all 5 New York neighborhoods, closed to traffic for the occasion.

    The route of the largest cycling event in the United States covers 40 miles passing through Central Park, Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, 5 of the most important city bridges and ending in Staten Island. Participating is quite expensive (tickets can be purchased on the official website), but the proceeds are donated entirely to charity and seeing the traffic-free streets of New York is a unique experience. It is usually held on the first Sunday in May.

    Dance Parade & Festival

    May is also the month of another important event that for over 10 years has filled the streets of New York with music, dances and colors for one day: the Dance Parade & Festival. Over 10.000 performers parade dancing with costumes and props, performing in over 80 different types of dance. There is no shortage of DJs and musical groups that play live marching.

    The event is free, even if the streets fill up quickly with spectators so I recommend that you choose and reach a place with good visibility in time. The parade usually starts around 13pm on Broadway and 00st Street, runs through Astor Plaza and ends late in the afternoon at Tompkins Square Park. It is usually held on the third Saturday in May.

    The 9th Avenue International Food Festival

    And for those with a sweet tooth, the event not to be missed in May in New York for over 35 years is the 9th Avenue International Food Festival. It takes place on 9th Avenue between 42nd and 57th Street from 10am to 00pm for a weekend with food stalls offering delicacies from all over the world as well as international music and dance, street performers and children's rides .

    Access is free and, in order not to miss the stand of your dreams, I suggest you go and get one of the maps with all the necessary information that are given free of charge at the information tent between 44th and 45th Street. All information on the official website.

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