A Complete Guide to Parades in New York

They are popular, free and always colorful: parades in New York! Here is an overview of the most important parades in New York. If you are in New York and have the chance to experience one of them live, then you should take the chance. Parades are an essential part of New York events and are extremely popular!

By the way: although the national holiday 4th of July is always celebrated in a big way and there are also huge fireworks in New York, surprisingly there is no 4th of July parade!

What parades are there in New York?

Throughout the year there are important and great parades in New York. The most important parades are:

  • Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade
  • St. Patrick’s Day Parade
  • Easter Parade
  • New York Gay Parade
  • Labor Day Parade
  • The Feast of San Gennaro
  • German American Steuben Parade
  • Village Halloween Parade
  • Veteran’s Day Parade
  • Memorial Day Parade

Upcoming Parades in New York in Detail

  1. 01

    Chinese New Year Parade (January 2022)

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    Usually, locals and tourists alike will (obviously) flock to New York City’s Chinatown to celebrate the Lunar New Year. A huge Chinese New Year Parade takes place there every year. The official name of the event is called the Lunar New Year and Festival.

    The parade will down Mott and Canal Street. It will then make its way down East Broadway and head towards Manhattan Bridge, and it will ultimately end at Sara D. Roosevelt Park. During the parade, there will also be smaller activities going on in Chinatown NYC. It will have all sorts of street vendors and festivities.

  2. 02

    St. Patrick’s Day Parade (March 17, 2022)

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    The famous St. Patrick’s Day Parade, which is one of the oldest, attracts around 700,000 people annually who want to be part of the spectacle. The parade takes place either directly on March 17th or – if it is a weekday – on the following weekend. Destination of the parade is the St. Patrick Cathedral. At 11 a.m. on the dot, the parade starts moving north at 44th Street/corner of 5th Avenue.

  3. 03

    Easter Parade & Bonnet Festival (April 17, 2022)

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    New York City is adorned with around 300 brightly painted XL Easter eggs. The famous Easter eggs can be seen everywhere in the city centre and are also a popular photo motif. The annual Easter Parade, the Easter Parade & Bonnet Festival, moves from 49th to 57th Street.

  4. 04

    National Tartan Day Parade (April 9, 2022)

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    National Tartan Day celebrates the friendship between the USA and Scotland. This is officially on April 6 and, like St. Patrick’s Day, has a National Tartan Day Parade, which is the highlight for many. It is always held on the Saturday closest to April 6. In 2022, Tartan Day will be held for the 24th time, heralding Tartan Week. 

  5. 05

    Cinco De Mayo Parade (May 5, 2022)

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    What St. Patrick’s Day is to the Irish, Cinco De Mayo is to the Mexicans. El Cinco de Mayo (Spanish for “May 5”) is a commemoration of the victory of the Mexican army led by General Ignacio Zaragoza during the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862 against the clearly superior French Expeditionary Force. 

    In New York, that means one thing above all: tequila, margaritas and a lot of partying with the locals. Both in the countless Mexican restaurants and bars in New York is celebrated big, but also during the Cinco De Mayo Parade in Manhattan, which stretches from Central Park West 106th Street to 96th Street.

  6. 06

    New York Dance Parade (May 22, 2022)

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    The New York Dance Parade will be held for the 15th time in 2022 and will feature more than 10,00 dancers performing a variety of dance styles. The parade starts on Broadway at the corner of 21st Street not far from the Flatiron Building in Madison Square Park and takes you towards Union Square and University Place, then turns off at the height of 8th Street. The end of the parade is Tompkins Square Park in the East Village.

    A very special point is the so-called “Grandstand” at 4th Avenue and 8th Street. Here, each group has exactly 40 seconds to showcase their dance skills and style.

    If you are looking for a parade that is perfect for families with children, the New York Dance Parade is a must!

  7. 07

    Memorial Day Parade (May 30, 2022)

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    The parades take place – on the last Monday in May – in all five boroughs, with the Little Neck Douglaston Parade in Queens not only being the largest in New York, but also the largest nationwide. Little Neck is the start and Douglaston the finish of the parade. In Manhattan there is surprisingly only a small Memorial Day Parade. It starts at Dyckman Street and Broadway in Inwood, the most northern district of Manhattan.

  8. 08

    National Puerto Rican Day Parade (June 12, 2022)

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    The Puerto Rican Day Parade has been held annually since 1959 on Fifth Avenue in the Manhattan district. The parade is held on the second Sunday in June in honor of almost four million Puerto Rican citizens and all people of Puerto Rican descent living on the US mainland.

  9. 09

    New York City Pride Parade (June 2022)

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    The New York Gay Pride is one of the oldest parades for gays from all over the world. The beautiful Greenwich Village has been hosting it every year since 1970. Especially Christopher Street is colorfully decorated and you can find the famous rainbow flags everywhere. Also the global company Google decorates its outer facade at this time and shows tolerance. The parade taking place at the end of June is one of the biggest parades in New York. It leads along 5th Avenue to Greenwich Street.

  10. 10

    Dominican Day Parade (August 8, 2021)

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    Another great parade in summer is the Dominican Day Parade, which takes place every 2nd Sunday in August. This parade has been around since 1982 in New York, which starts at the Avenue of the Americas (6th Avenue) level of 38th Street and continues north to 52nd Street.

  11. 11

    Labor Day Parade (September 6, 2021)

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    The Labor Day Parade (also known as West Indian Day Parade and Caribbean American Parade) is the most colorful event in NYC. Every year, between 2 and 3 million people are expected to celebrate Caribbean culture. 

    At the same time, the West Indian Day Parade has a long history: in fact, in 2021 it will be held for the 51st time. The parade starts in Crown Heights in Brooklyn, not far from Park Slope. Get ready for a lot of happy and colorfully decorated people – good mood is guaranteed!

  12. 12

    Coney Island Mermaid Parade (September 12, 2021)

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    The Coney Island Mermaid Parade is one of the craziest events in New York. Every year thousands of dressed up people make the pilgrimage to Coney Island’s Surf Avenue. Pirates, squids, sailors, mermaids, paired with music and many floats, seem like a mixture of Christopher Street Day and Cologne Carnival.

  13. 13

    Annual German-American Steuben Parade (September, 2022)

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    The Annual German-American Steuben Parade attracts up to one million people and is therefore also one of the biggest parades in New York. Always in mid-September, New York is firmly in the hands of Germans or New Yorkers with German roots

  14. 14

    Village Halloween Parade (October 31, 2022)

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    You are in the mood for a Halloween party, but don’t want to pay admission? Then dress up and join the Village Halloween Parade. This is really typical American: Halloween is celebrated on October 31st and of course a parade is a must! The Village Halloween Parade starts in SoHo West (Spring Street, 6th Avenue) just in time for darkness (7 p.m.) and ends at 11 p.m.

  15. 15

    Veterans Day Parade (November, 2022)

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    The Veterans Day Parade is traditionally held on November 11th. The day commemorates the fallen soldiers in the wars and is an official holiday in the USA. The parade starts at Madison Square Park/5th Avenue and the finish line is 59th Street at Central Park.

  16. 16

    Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade (November 24, 2022)

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    The Thanksgiving Day Parade is probably the most famous parade in the world and looks back on a long tradition: It has been around since 1924 and every year more than 3.5 million people come to see it. The route begins west of Central Park at 77th Street and passes Columbus Circle, where you have a great view of the parade. If the parade turns onto 6th Avenue, the best view is from 59th to 38th Street.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are the parades in New York free of charge?

Yes, all parades are free of charge.

When is the Dominican Day Parade in New York?

The Dominican Parade is an annual event that takes place every 2nd Sunday in August. These are the next dates:

  • Dominican Day Parade 2021: August 8.
  • Dominican Day Parade 2022: August 14
  • Dominican Day Parade 2023: August 13

When is the Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York?

The Thanksgiving Day Parade is among the most famous parades in New York City, always held on the last Thursday in November. These are the next dates:

  • Thanksgiving Day Parade 2021: November 25
  • Thanksgiving Day Parade 2022: November 24
  • Thanksgiving Day Parade 2023: November 23

Is there a Christmas Parade in New York?

Unfortunately, there is no parade at Christmas time in New York. However, there is so much to see and do, so you won’t get bored. You can find out more in our article about Christmas in New York.

When is the Halloween Parade in New York?

The Halloween Parade takes place every year on October 31, just in time for Halloween.

When is the Pride Parade in New York?

The New York Pride Parade is held in the wonderful month of June, usually in the last two weeks. The dates for 2022 have not been set yet.

When is the Puerto Rican Day Parade in New York?

The Puerto Rican Day Parade is always held on the 2nd Sunday in June, so it varies from year to year. These are the next dates:

  • Puerto Rican Day Parade 2022: June 12.
  • Puerto Rican Day Parade 2023: June 11
  • Puerto Rican Day Parade 2024: June 9

What is the biggest parade in New York?

The biggest parade in New York is by far the Thanksgiving Day Parade in November, attracting more than 3.5 million visitors. There is an exciting neck-and-neck race for the other places:

  1. Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade: 3.5 million visitors
  2. New York Gay Pride Parade: 2.1 million visitors
  3. St. Patrick’s Day Parade: 2 million visitors
  4. Labor Day Parade: 2 million visitors
  5. Village Halloween Parade: 2 million visitors

About the author
Steffen

I'm a true New York fan! Not only have I visited the city over 20 times but also have I spent several months here at a time. On this blog, I want to share everything I have learned and discovered, so you can have the best time in the greatest city in the world.

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