Holiday 2014
New Year's Day January 1
Martin Luther King's Birthday  January 20
President's Day February 17
Memorial Day  May 26
American Independence Day July 4
Labor Day/Carnival - NY  September 6
Columbus Day  October 13
Veteran's Day  November 11
Thanksgiving Day November 27
Christmas - Christian December 25
Day after Christmas, St Stephen's Day, Boxing Day December 26




The United States, with its mixture of people from the various cultural backgrounds across the globe, has a tremendous amount of festivals and celebrations in each city, state and regions throughout the year.  We have decided to list a few prominent ones in places closer to us:

Chinese New Year and Parade occurs during the first full moon between January 21 and February 19. It is a loud, colorful occasion celebrated from noon to sunset around Mott St. Though dragons still dance in the street, firecrackers no longer chase away evil spirits because former Mayor Giuliani banned them for most events. The chances of getting a meal anywhere in Chinatown at this time are slim.

Location: New York

St Patrick's Day Parade, on March 17th, celebrates an impromptu march through the streets by Irish militiamen on St Patrick's Day in 1762, this has become a draw for every Irish band and organization in the US and Ireland. Usually starting just before noon, it heads up 5th Ave between 44th and 86th street. During this time, Irish pubs attracts the most parade viewers who keep the festivities going way into the night.

Location: New York

Ukrainian Festival, this extravaganza fills a weekend during mid-May on E 7th St between 2nd and 3rd Ave with marvelous Ukrainian costumes, folk music and dance, plus authentic foods. At the Ukrainian Museum (12th St and 2nd Ave) there's a special exhibition of pysanky - traditional hand-painted eggs.

Location: New York, Chicago(August)

Ninth Avenue International Food Festival in mid-May. The festival closes down 9th Ave between 37th and 57th street for the weekend and offers tantalizing food, delicious scents, colorful crafts and great deals.

Location: New York

Puerto Rican Day Parade takes place on the second Sunday in June. The National Puerto Rican Day Parade started in 1995; the Puerto Rican Day Parade in New York City began in 1958. The parade features floats sponsored by businesses, singing, dancing and marching. Last year there were over 100,000 marchers and 3 million spectators at the parade. The largest of several Puerto Rican celebrations in the city, seven hours of bands and baton-twirling from 44th to 86th street on 5th Ave, then east to 3rd Ave.

Location: New York, Chicago (June) 

Independence Day,on July 4th, the fireworks from Macy's, South Street Seaport and the display over the East River are visible all over Manhattan, but the best place to view them is either from the Seaport, Battery Park, the Esplanade at Brooklyn Heights or from atop almost any building at about 9pm.

Location: New York 

Harlem Month culminates with Harlem Day on the third Sun of August. It is a month-long celebration of African, Caribbean and Latin culture. It includes a children's festival, a dance show, a fashion parade, talent contest and other festivities, such as the Black Film Festival and the Taste of Harlem.

Location: New York

West Indian-American Day Parade and Carnival occurs on Labor Day/Carnival - NY (First Monday of September). For most, it is three-day weekend( Saturday to Sunday) marking the end of summer. This holiday was begun by immigrant New York workers struggling to live their hopes and dreams. Many call it the largest parade in North America with over 2 million spectators, thousands of paraders and dozens of bands. Kiddie parade on Saturday. Monday;s festivities begin on Sunday night with the revelers dancing along with music in the streets. The dancing continues along until the official parade on Monday.The day before, Labor Day/Carnival - NY Weekend Sunday are three Carnival theme festivals St. Lucia-USA Caribbean Family Day Festival. Brooklyn's largest parade, modeled after the carnivals of Trinidad and Tobago, features the Caribbean rich music, food and dance.

Location: New York

Broadway on Broadway occurs on the Sunday after Labor Day/Carnival - NY in September. It's the quintessential New York City event: 50,000 spectators at the Crossroads of the World, live numbers from Broadway shows performed on a giant outdoor stage, television cameras, a galaxy of celebrity performers, and a big finale with loads of confetti. Free performances feature songs by casts of virtually every Broadway musical, culminating in a shower of confetti; held in Times Square.

Location: New York

New York Film Festival occurs over 2 weeks from late September to mid-October. It is one of the world's leading film festivals unreels at Lincoln Center.

Location: New York

Greenwich Village Halloween Day Parade, In the 7pm procession on 6th Ave from Spring to 23rd street you'll see spectacular costumes, wigs and make-up. The music is great and the spirit is wild and festive. 

Location: New York

Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, New York's most televised parade, with floats, dozens of marching bands from around the country, the Rockettes, and Santa Claus's first appearance of the season. More than two million spectators watch it from 77th St down Central Park West to Columbus Circle, then down Broadway to Herald Square between 9am - noon.

Location: New York

New Year's Eve in Times Square, Some 200,000-plus revelers party in the cold streets. There are also spectacular fireworks at the South Street Seaport, Central Park and Brooklyn's Prospect Park. More family-oriented, alcohol-free First Nights with dancing, music and food take place throughout the city.

Location: New York 

Chicago Blues Festival, the world’s largest free admission Blues festival, takes place in Grant Park of Downtown Chicago during the month of June. The festival annually salutes the masters. In years parst, the festivals has featured performers, such as Otis Clay, Nora Jean Bruso, C.J. Chenier, and the Fat Possum Caravan. The Festival is open from 11a.m.-9:30 p.m. daily (music begins at noon), and promises a good time for everyone. The four-day festival offers the best in national, international and local Blues entertainment on six stages with more than 70 performers, preceded by a month of Blues activities (Blues season) throughout Chicago. The Chicago Blues Festival brings people of all ages, from all over the world to enjoy the blues. More than half a million people attend this popular festival! 

Location: Chicago

Chicago Jazz Festival in early September takes place in Grant Park of Downtown Chicago. The admission is free. You should join the celebration that has been named “America’s Classical Music,” jazz. The weekend is filled with prestigious jazz groups from the local confines of Chicago to the international level. Performances usually takes place on the Petrillo Music Shell Stage, the Jazz and Family Heritage stage and the Jazz on Jackson stage. 

Location: Chicago


Chicago Outdoor Film Festival takes place on Tuesday nights during the months of July to August in Butler Field in Grant Park at Lake Shore Drive and Monroe. You can view seven weeks of classic films every Tuesday at sunset. This one-of-a-kind outdoor theater experience includes a gigantic screen (50’ x 34’) and a state-of-the art sound system. Admission is free, thanks to the generosity of sponsors. The festival also showcases short films done by Chicago area amateur and professional filmmakers. 

Location: Chicago

Carifete - Caribbean American Carnival in August, takes place at the Midway Plaisance (6000 South) between Cottage Grove & Stony Island in Hyde Park. With its roots in the Trinidad and Tobago Carnival, it has become an international festival that features Jamaican reggae, Brazilian samba and African djembe rhythms alongside Latin salsa, Haitian zouk or urban sounds, all blended with calypso and soca vibes. Each year, the festival showcases a cultural extravaganza of art, music dance, cuisine and culture from the Islands of the Caribbean 

The festive ambiance of this event is created through a colorful parade of costumed participants. Accompanied by mobile music (live, D.J's, or Steeldrums). The parade portrayals represent fictitious characters, brought to life. The theme chosen for each presentation lies within the domains of history, nature or fantasy.

Carifete has been an integral part of Chicago's multicultural heritage. From the brilliant and dazzling costumes that add a myriad of colors to the city, to the pulsating rhythms of the steelbands, soca and calypso music that entices the onlookers to participate. Carifete entertains and excites. It draws young and old, Chicagoans and International visitor alike to witness one of the ultimate Caribbean experience.

Location: Chicago

Northcenter Oktoberfest occurs over the last weekend in September. The event takes place at Belle Plaine & Lincoln Avenue (just north of the Lincoln/Damen/Irving Park intersection). It celebrates one of the great German social traditions. Take in a dash of traditional German music blended with a strong dose of popular music and a round of beer... 

Location: Chicago

Chicago World Music Festival occurs in late September. The best in international music converges upon Chicago. Organized by the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs, the week-long festival showcases both traditional and contemporary music from many of the world’s diverse cultures. Festival events include a mix of free and ticketed concerts, live radio broadcasts and educational workshops presented in museums, parks, cultural centers, plazas, theaters, bookstores, clubs and other venues throughout Chicago.

The annual festival was launched in 1999 to resounding critical and popular acclaim and is renowned for its innovation, quality and diversity in bringing international music to Chicago. It includes performers from dozens of countries and includes musicians currently based in Chicago and other cities in the U.S.
Events are scheduled at the Chicago Cultural Center, the Old Town School of Folk Music, the Museum of Contemporary Art, “Under the Picasso” at the Daley Civic Center, and various other performance spaces around the city. 

Location: Chicago

New Orlean's Mardi Gras or Carnival actually begins on January 6, the Epiphany, or Kings Day. The parties and parades begin on a very small but widespread scale until the climax on the Wednesday before Lent which is Fat Tuesday. The celebrations feature thousands of street revelers to costumed riders on larger than life floats as they shower glittering trinkets over the scrambling crowd below. Parades--60 formal ones at last count and many other informal ones--fantastic costumes, elegant balls and intricately designed tableaux, all essential parts of Mardi Gras, one of the wildest celebrations in the country. 

Location: New Orlean



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