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Chinese New Year's Celebration: Held on February 12. From ancient times to the present, Chinese people have been welcoming in the New Year and chasing away the evil spirits by setting off firecrackers. Large crowds gather in the narrow streets of Chinatown in. A huge cloth dragon sways back and forth around the street corners, chasing a red sun ball or a white pearl-ball. Following the dragon are people playing drums and gongs, and lion dancers with paper lion heads on sticks. As they dance, store and business owners come outside to give them money. Free.
St. Patrick's Day Parade: This annual parade is held every year on March 17th and starts at 4th Street and 5th Avenue. It honors the patron saint of Ireland with bagpipers, high school bands, and the ever-present politicians making their way up 5th Ave. to 86th St. Free.
Gay Pride Parade: Held on the last Sunday of June, this colorful parade run on Fifth Ave. all the way down to the Village. Hundreds of participants dance and express themselves. Free.
Fourth of July Celebrations: The city celebrates its independence with an amazing display of fireworks on the East River. Free.
The U.S. Open: If you come in August or September you can catch the Annual US Open at the National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows Park, Queens, NYC. Tickets available through TicketMaster.
Halloween Parade: Its the nation's largest public Halloween celebration (October 31) attended by over 2 million people every year and continuously presented since 1973. Thousands of people show up in a variety of original and not so original costumes and enjoy a night in the city streets dancing, singing and watching. Free. Click here to see more.
New York City Marathon: The New York City Marathon is run every year on the first Sunday in November and gathers around 35,000 participants. The runners come from across the globe to be a part of one of the world's largest and most famous running competitions. The Marathon starts on the Staten Island section of the Verrazano Narrows Bridge, proceeds through Brooklyn and Queens, crosses into Manhattan and up to the Bronx, and is completed back in Manhattan near Central Park's Tavern on the Green. Free.
Macy's Balloon Inflation: On the night before the Thanksgiving Day Parade you can see how the parade's big-balloons are being inflated. Go to Central Park West between 77th and 81st St. and you will be one on the hundreds to watch the giant balloons get their fill of helium. Free.
Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade: The fourth Thursday in November, celebrated throughout the U.S. with family gatherings, turkey feasts and football games, also marks the annual Thanksgiving Day Parade sponsored by Macy's. This 2.5 mile extravaganza traditionally begins at 9 am at 77th Street, proceeds down Central Park West to Columbus Circle and marches down Broadway to Macy's Herald Square store at 34th Street. Each year, the parade features a host of: clowns, floats, marching bands, celebrities and the famous balloons in the shapes of everyone's favorite cartoon and storybook characters. Free.
Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lightning: The Rockefeller Center Christmas tree is illuminated on the first week of December in a holiday tradition now in its 71st year. The tradition was born when construction workers set up the first tree in 1931, while the office complex was still being built. This years' 7-ton, 43-foot wide tree was taken from Carmine and Mary Rizzo's property in Bloomsbury, N.J. Free.
Midnight Run Marathon: The Midnight Run is a 4 mile marathon that kicks off at Central Park every New Years Eve. (72nd St. entrance) at exactly 12:00 am. This marathon is as much fun to runners as it is to spectators. Runners can register at www.nyrrc.org and the rest of us can cheer up the runners and enjoy the celebration. The fun starts at 10:45 pm with dance to a live DJ to warm up (it can get very very cold) and continues with a costume parade until it is time to line up. Many of the participants run wearing costumes. At 12:00 am the runners start the race and the crowd of thousands enjoy the fireworks, the music and the toast. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!. Free. (see our "Other Pictures" Photo Gallery)
New Years Eve Celebration: One of the oldest and cheapest ways to celebrate the New Year is to join the million or so partiers who congregate in Times Square to watch the famous lighted ball descend. While New Years in Times Square is a bit wild, it is certainly quite manageable because of the heavy police presence. If you go with a group of friends, you will probably be O.K. Better than that, you will be in the middle of an electrifying event that is beamed to billions of TV viewers around the world. Free.
There are many comedy clubs that feature top comedians from the late-night television circuit. Reservations or advance tickets are recommended at all clubs. For a complete list of locations visit time www.timeoutny.com
New York's music scene reflects the city's diversity. Rock, jazz, reggae, hip-hop, indie rock, punk, techno, hip-hop, electronica, dance music and spoken-word poetry. Most of the music energy is provided by bars and venues located in the East and West Villages. Check out http://newyork.timeout.com/section/music for more information
The most renowned places to see live bands are:
Apollo Theater 253 W. 125th St. (between 7th and 8th Ave.), Beacon Theater 2124 Broadway (at 74th St.), The Bottom Line 15 W 4th St., Bowery Ballroom 6 Delancey St (at Bowery), Brownies 169 Ave A (at 10th St.), Continental (25 Third Ave. at St. Marks Place), Don Hill's (511 Greenwich St. at Spring), Hammerstein Ballroom 311 W. 34th St. (at 8th Ave.), Irving Plaza 17 Irving Place (at 15th St.), Madison Square Garden 7th Ave & 32nd St, Radio City Music Hall 1260 6th Ave. (at 50th St.), Roseland Ballroom 239 W. 52nd St. (between Broadway and 8th Ave.),
Most places require that you show an ID (driver's license or passport) and will not sell alcohol to people under 21.
New York's own local teams have their own web sites where you can get information and check their schedule.
Soccer: April to October. MetroStars
New York is the greatest theater center in the world. The theater district located in Times Square starts at Broadway at 45th St.
Venues are referred to as Broadway and Off Broadway, representing a descending order in the shows' production, ticket price, and big names performances. The variety and number of shows is impressive, from huge large scale musicals to one man shows, to dramas, to revivals, to comedies. There is a little bit of everything for every taste.
Specific Broadway listings can be found in the free Official Broadway Theater Guide, available at theater and hotel lobbies or at the New York Convention and Visitors' Bureau.
Half Price Tickets for Broadway Shows
TKTS: 47th St.& Broadway and 186 Front St. (downtown Manhattan) The booths sell Broadway, Off-Broadway, Dance and Music events. Tickets are either half or three-quarter price (plus a $3.00 per ticket service charge) and are available on the day of performance. Be sure to bring cash or traveler's checks since credit cards are not accepted. Your best bet is to go on weekdays when more tickets are generally available and the crowds are somewhat smaller. Call (212) 768-1818 for a recording that provides more information.
Note: the downtown Manhattan location is far less crowded than the one in Times Square, consider taking the trip and save time waiting in-line.