Can’t decide whether or not to book a trip or stay in town for Memorial Day weekend? It just so happens there is a lot going down in the Brooklyn borough on Monday May 30, and we’re not talking about day-drinking and sample sales! Memorial Day is about honoring the men and women who have lost their lives serving in our armed forces, so wherever you end up, take a moment to pay your respects.
What’s red, white and blue, 149 years old, and ends with a 21-gun salute? One of the oldest traditions in Brooklyn, the iconic Brooklyn’s Kings County Memorial Day Parade, starts in Bay Ridge and ends at John Paul Jones Park for the memorial service. Catholic war veterans lead the march with local service organizations like the NYPD and FDNY. Brooklyn high-school bands perform, and antique fire trucks and cars are on display. The parade is the perfect way to show your pride and honor fallen soldiers and their families on Memorial Day.
Monday May 30, from 11am. 3rd Ave and 75th St, Bay Ridge. Free.
A cemetery wouldn’t usually be our first choice for a concert venue, but Green-Wood Cemetery’s Annual Memorial Day Concert is a NYC favorite. Best of all, no bag checks or wristbands – this one is free! Bring a blanket, pick up some food and drinks from local vendors, and get comfortable, surrounded by the sounds of the ISO Symphonic Band, founded in 1995 to sponsor talented NYC students. Listen out for the works of Green-Wood’s permanent “residents” Fred Ebb, Louis Moreau Gottschalk and Leonard Bernstein. Organizers encourage you to reserve your spot online so they can gauge attendance, and consider making a donation, to ensure they can keep putting on these events.
Monday May 30, 2:30-5pm. 500 25th St, Greenwood Heights. Free.
In the Navy
For over 150 years the Brooklyn Navy Yard churned out America’s most famous fighting ships, from the USS Maine to the USS Missouri. On Memorial Day weekend and especially during Fleet Week New York (May 25-31), it seems fitting to celebrate our sea services and explore the Brooklyn Navy Yard: Past, Present and Future. Over three floors of Building 92, the exhibition tells the story of the waterfront site. You will learn about the site Native American history, its role in the American Revolution, the great naval ships designed and built there and the Navy Yard’s emergence the innovative industrial park you see today.
Saturday May 28 or Sunday May 29, from 2pm. 63 Flushing Ave, Brooklyn Navy Yard. Admission to BLDG 92 is free. Public tours by bus, $30. Public tours by bike, $24.
A Fling Fit for a King
Open now until Memorial Day, the Kings County Fair claims to be Brooklyn’s most popular family event, and with endless cotton candy, a roller-coaster, Ferris wheel AND a tiger, we think they might be right! Returning to Aviator Sports and Events Center for the seventh year, you can count on a fun-filled fair with rides and games for kids of all ages, and carnival cuisine including corn dogs, hamburgers, hot-dogs, pizza, pretzels and funnel cake. New this year is The Tiger Encounter, which raises awareness on the plight of the tiger, and the Mega Pass ticket ($25 for admission and ride bracelet).
Thursday May 19 – Monday May 30, from 5pm weekdays and 12pm weekends. 3159 Flatbush Avenue, Floyd Bennett Field. Entry, $5. Ride tickets vary.