Glenwood NYC’s Guide of the Best NYC Events In August
The dog days of NYC Summer 2015 are officially here! You've somehow survived that miserable stretch of 95-degree high-humidity afternoons, most of your friends are away on fabulous vacations or lounging poolside at their Hamptons estate, very little work gets done even if you do show up at the office, and the city has settled into that annual dead zone known as… August. But wait! Because this really is the city that's always on, never takes a break, is always there for YOU, there are still plenty of fun events happening this month, such as the following list of the Best 5 NYC Things To Do in August.
Coney Island Sand Sculpting Contest (August 15th)
If you need yet another reason to head out to Coney Island before the summer's over, the 25th Annual Sand Sculpting Contest might just be thing to get up on the F/D/N/Q train for a day of fun in the sun. Featuring a great mix of ringers (who don't compete but do construct insanely elaborate sculptures), stunningly skillful amateurs, and true rookies (the groups of kids are always charming to chat with about their designs), the contest is a friendly, family-orientated, totally free activity that nicely complements everything else going on around the boardwalk.
Jazz Age Lawn Party (August 15th – 16th)
Also going on that weekend is the second of the summer's Jazz Age Lawn Parties on Governors Island. Most of the regular tickets are sold out, but as of now some premium options remain–it's BYO food and cash bar, but there are lots of musical performances as well as activities like a Charleston contest, a pie-baking (not eating) contest, and antique cars and gramophones on display–BUT you can also just go to Governors and listen to music right outside the roped-off area, and gawk at all of Roaring-'20s-era get-ups, and get your picnic from the amazing Snowday food truck. Either way, this is a good time.
New York International Fringe Festival (August 14th – 31st)
August is actually the most insanely-packed month for fans of Off-Off-Off-OFF-Broadway-type productions, because that's when the 19th Annual Fringe NYC Festival hits town. Over the course of 16 days, Fringe NYC brings 1,100 performances of some 200 different shows in venues all over the East Village and Lower East Side (and occasionally beyond). There's no way to see it all, or (for me) to even predict which of the astounding array of offerings are any good (many are, but trust me, plenty are not), but with tickets only $18 and additional discounts with multi-show passes, it's easy to take a risk. This is really a treat for theater-lovers of all persuasions.
Battery Dance Festival (August 15th – 21st)
More culture for downtown denizens comes in the form of the Battery Dance Festival, featuring more than 35 performances covering a wide array of disciplines and styles, all completely free. The setting is lovely, too, in Robert Wagner State Park at the southern end of Battery Park City, with terrific views of the harbor and the Statue of Liberty. And because it all happens in the evening, from 6:30 to 8:30, with multiple companies hitting the stage each day, it'll likely be pleasant weather-wise as well, thanks to those Hudson River breezes.
Afropunk Fest (August 21st – 23rd)
Although they're charging admission for the first time this year–$45 for one day, general admission, which is a lot more than the previous summers' price of "free"–the Afropunk Fest is still a must-attend in my book. There's the music, including headliners Lenny Kravitz and Grace Jones, as well as Kelis, Lauryn Hill, Suicidal Tendencies, and tons more (there are at least two stages–the number's varied from year to year–with continuous bands and DJs all day-into-the-night long). There's the food, the drink, the art, the activism, and the shopping, all of which add to the communal feel of the weekend. And, maybe most spectacularly, there's the fashion, with a hefty percentage of attendees getting decked out in a huge range (wild to elegant) of styles and sensibilities.