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Things to do This Memorial Day Weekend in Brooklyn

Why sit in traffic when there's plenty to do in Brooklyn!
The Thunderbolt roller coaster at Luna Park.

Memorial Day weekend is the official start of the summer and there's no need to head out of town when there's plenty to do in Brooklyn!

Public beaches will officially open on Saturday, May 25, according to the Department of Parks and Recreation. There is still a lifeguard shortage so there may be sections of the beach that are closed for swimming, but many parts will be maned by a lifeguard from 10am from 6pm. Public beaches in Brooklyn are Coney Island, Brighton Beach and Manhattan Beach.

There's always much fun to be had on the Coney Island boardwalk and amusement parks, and the Brooklyn Cyclones will be playing the Hudson Valley Renegades from Friday, May 24 through Sunday, May 26. 

If you're looking for a parade, there's the Brooklyn Canarsie Lions Club Memorial Day Parade on Monday, May 27. This starts at 10am at the Holy Family Church at 9719 Flatlands Ave. The Brookyn Memorial Day Parade in Bay Ridge, also on May 27, starts at 11am on Third Avenue and 78th Street. 

And there's more! Here are some weekend highlights:

Saturday, May 25

BAM DanceAfrica and DanceAfrica Bazaar

The annual African Dance festival is in full swing at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. This year, the festival's anchor performance, under the artistic vision of Abdel R. Salaam, celebrates the dance and music of Cameroon. The program, titled The Origin of Communities / A Calabash of Cultures, fosters a unique collaboration with the DanceAfrica Spirit Walkers and The Billie's Youth Arts Academy Dance Ensemble, joined by Women Of The Calabash, an ensemble known for its mesmerizing polyphonic sound. Tickets to a host of performances running from Friday, May 24 through Monday, May 27, are available here. 

In addition, Brooklyn's favorite African and Caribbean bazaar starts on Saturday, May 25, as over 150 vendors gather on the Plaza at 300 Ashland Pl. to offer tons of unique handmade crafts and envied fashion pieces. 

The Bazaar will run on Saturday, May 25 from 12pm to 10pm, Sunday, May 26, from 12pm to 8pm, and Monday May 27, from 12pm until 8 pm.  

DanceAfrica Bazaar. Photo: Supplied/BAM

Dumbo Pig Roast

Time Out Market’s pig roast is on Saturday, led by Bark Barbecue and Palmira Barbecue.

Bark’s owner Ruben Santana and Palmira’s owner Hector Garate will cook a Heritage Duroc Hog from Peculiar Pig Farm in Charleston, S.C., while Max Banda and DJ Ray Suave provide tunes from 2pm to 7pm. 

And stay later for Latin Mix Saturdays, which begins at 7pm with Ronnie Roc & DJ Torres. 55 Water St. RSVP here.

Sunday, May 26

Queer Garden Summer Kickoff at BK Backyard Bar

Queer Garden's summer series is starting at the BK Backyard Bar in Williamsburg with a Memorial Gay Weekend Party. Hosted by Mal from Netflix's The Ultimatum: Queer Love, the event will include DJs HIGHGNX, DJ MK and Whitney Day. There's also a pup parade and go-go dancers! The bash, at 86 N.11th St., kicks off at 2pm. Get tickets here

Photo: Supplied/Whitney Day Instagram

Monday, May 27

Green-Wood Cemetery's Memorial Day Concert

Bring a blanket and picnic to listen to the the talented high-school musicians of the ISO Symphonic Band at Third Street, led by music director Paul Corn and hosted by guest conductor Brian P. Worsdale. 

Each year the programming features works that commemorate those who served in the armed forces throughout the nation’s history, while also highlighting music by some of Green-Wood’s permanent residents, including James Weldon Johnson, Fred Ebb and Leonard Bernstein. This year’s repertoire will also include works by a diverse range of contemporary composers. 

The concert, which starts at 2pm, is free, but registering for tickets is highly recommended. The show takes places near the main entrance on 5th Avenue and 25th Street.