The mission of NYC on the Cheap is to help you experience the best of New York City, and save money in the bargain, even as so many of the events that make NYC so great are cancelled or postponed during these strange and stressful days.
All large public events in May and June have been cancelled, including Fleet Week NYC, Memorial Day Parades, Shakespeare in the Park and NYC Pride events.
Some events are being postponed, such as the eagerly awaited Kusama exhibit at the New York Botanical Garden.
But most are simply cancelled, including Puerto Rican Day and Celebrate Israel Day parades and the outdoor SummerStage concert series in parks in all five boroughs.
Here are the details, including links to last year’s events, so you know what you are missing:
NYC May Events Cancelled
The annual weeklong visit by a dozen US Navy and US Coast Guard ships, which are open for touring, demonstrations of weapons, band concerts, and so much more, including 3,000 service members on shore leave enjoying all the fabulous things NYC has to offer.
This is the real life version of the Hollywood musical On The Town, starring Gene Kelly and Frank Sinatra, singing and dancing about “the Bronx is up and the Battery is down and people ride in a hole in the ground. New York, New York – it’s a wonderful town.
One of my favorite flicks of all time – perhaps yours, too.
Here is last year’s schedule of Fleet Week NYC events so you know what you are missing this year.
These FREE performances have been held annually at Central Park’s Delacorte Theater since 1962
The 2020 schedule was to include two shows a new production of “Richard II,” which was to have begun May 19; followed by a musical adaptation of “As You Like It”.
Shakespeare in the Park was to have been from May 19 through August 8, 2020.
SummerStage, the FREE summer-long series of hundreds of concerts in NYC parks in all five borouughs.
Summerstage was to have started on June 22.
Here’s last summer’s schedule, so you know what we are missing.
It is the unofficial start of the street fair season and a fund-raiser for the local community, normally held on one of the first weekends of May.
It also normally attracts more than 100,000 people tasting their way through around one mile of Ninth Avenue, showcasing local restaurants, bars and specialty food stores.
And since the Ninth Avenue Food Festival is a fund-raiser for local community support programs, including local schools, it’s more than just a loss of a great day of grazing.
The annual FREE Memorial Day Concert by the NY Philharmonic, in the Cathedral of St. John the Divine
The big annual art show on Randall’s Island draws the world’s top artists and thousands of art lovers.
Postponed – The FREE show of some sculptures in Rockefeller Center has been postponed from May to some time during the summer.
The Other Art Fair in Brooklyn, with works more affordable than at Frieze NY.
This is Brooklyn’s premier design event showcasing furniture, lighting, accessories and technology, featuring the highest-caliber furnishings and home accessories from Brooklyn-based artisans, designers and manufacturers, including many companies that have received Brooklyn-Made certification by the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce.
Brooklyn Half-Marathon on May 16th
It’s not possible to cancel this annual astro-physical celestial event whether or not there is a stay-at-home rule.
Manhattahenge is two days in May and two days again inJuly when the sun sets precisely in the middle of Manhttan’s east-west grid, illuminating both north-south sides of the street in an otherworldly glow.
- Friday, May 29th at 8:13 p.m. EDT (half sun).
- Saturday, May 30th at 8:14 p.m. EDT (full sun).
- Sunday, July 12th at 8:20 p.m. EDT (full sun)
- Monday, July 13th at 8:21 p.m. EDT (half sun)
The celestial show will happen, with us or without us. Although many of us will ignore stay-at-home rules to photograph this annual phenomen.
May 2 – Cannabis Parade
- Broadway between 31st-32nd St to Union Square South
May 10 – Japan Day Parade May 10, 2020
- Central Park West, from 81st to 68th Streets
May 16 – Dance Parade and Festival
- Broadway and 21st St to Tompkins Square Park
- 80th Street and Third Ave to 67th St and 7th Ave, Bay Ridge, Brooklyn
May 25 – Brooklyn’s 153rd Memorial Day Parade
- Third Ave from 78th St to Marine Ave to Fourth Ave and John Paul Jones Park
May 25 – Staten Island Memorial Day Parade
- Forest Avenue and Hart Blvd, Staten Island https://www.ourveterans.nyc
- Northern Blvd. between Jayson Ave and 245th St, Queens
NYC May Events Postponed & Rescheduled
Postponed – The eagerly awaited Kusama exhibit at the New York Botanical Garden was to have opened on May 9, but has been postponed for for one year, until Spring 2021.
KUSAMA: Cosmic Nature includes works from throughout her career and multifaceted practice, and debut new works created by the artist such as the monumental Dancing Pumpkin (2020).
The exhibition will be installed across the Garden’s 250 acres and in several of its historic buildings. Outdoor works will include large-scale sculptures.
Read our full article on the Kusama exhibit originally planned for this month.
Postponed – The annual May 1st opening of this car-free island park has been postponed. The new opening date has not been announced.
More than 70 FREE events were scheduled for the 2020 season, including
- the 1st Annual Opening Weekend ShinDIG, a community volunteer event and opening celebration hosted by the Friends of Governors Island on May 4.
- the 14th iteration of the Jazz Age Lawn Party, the world’s largest prohibition-era gathering with live music, dancing and more,
- the freeform folk festival Porch Stomp.
- the New York City Poetry Festival in July,
- the Japan Performing Arts Festival in August and
- the Vendy Awards, a fierce competition featuring the best of New York City street food.
- New to Governors Island this year is the Longines Global Champions Tour, one of the world’s most exciting and competitive equestrian series, coming to New York City for the first time ever in September.
It is not clear yet which are cancelled and which early-season events will be postponed.
Anna Wintour, the chair of the Met Gala announced in Vogue that the much-anticipated fundraiser originally set for for May 4 will be postponed to a date in the fall.
So we’ll just have to wait longer to see what extravagant costumes Billy Porter, Beyonce, Lady Gaga, and others will be wearing.
We’ll have the complete June cancellation list soon.
Thanks for following NYC on the Cheap.