Our guide to your great Memorial Day weekend

Our guide to your great Memorial Day weekend
Photo by Richard Termine

It’s Memorial Day weekend, and you don’t have a beach house or lakeside cottage to run off to. Don’t feel left out – there’s plenty to keep you occupied this long weekend in Brooklyn, from patriotic concerts to amusement park birthday parties to even, paradoxically, a TV party. You’ll friends will be jealous they even left.

Green-Wood Cemetery

Hats off to the Green-Wood Cemetery this year — it’s really going all out this Memorial Day. The whole weekend is full of festivities to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, starting with a Grand Procession on May 29 that features reenactments of Civil War songs, followed by cavalry-led procession through the cemetery that passes more than 4,500 candelit graves of Civil War veterans.

The next day, uniformed re-enactors will may tribute to the vets, complete with rifle salutes and musical tributes, in the March of Honor. You can further feel like you were there with “Honoring Their Sacrifice,” a multi-media exhibit featuring Civil War artifacts and memorabilia gathered from private collections, at Green-Wood’s Historic Chapel.

And, as always, the cemetery hosts its free Memorial Day concert, featuring the ISO Symphonic Band playing melodies of the Civil War, as well as works by some of the cemetery’s permanent residents, including Fred Ebb, Louis Moreau Gottschalk, Leonard Bernstein, and more. It’s the most patriotic weekend you’ve ever had.

Green-Wood Cemetery [25th Street and Fifth Avenue, (718) 768-7300]. The Grand Procession, March 28 at 7 pm, tickets $15, $10 in advance; The March of Honor, May 30 at 11 am, free; Memorial Day Concert, May 30 at 3 pm, free; “Honoring Their Sacrifice,” May 28-June 12, weekdays from noon-4 pm, weekends form 11 am-6 pm, free. For info, visit green-wood.com.


The Fort Greene Festival isn’t for another month, but you can get in the spirit when Q-Tip headlines a kick-off party on May 28 at Sanders Studio. The boyish rapper will be joined by Michaela Angela Davis, Danny Simmons, Toure X, AJ Calloway and Rosie Perez, who must be on speed dial whenever there’s something to do with Fort Greene.

Q-Tip at Sanders Studio [525 Waverly Pl. between Fulton and Atlantic avenues in Fort Greene, (646) 232-8857], May 28 at 9 pm. Tickets $15, $10 in advance. For info, visit www.fortgreenefest.com.

Luna Park birthday

Was it only a year ago that the new Coney Island amusement park opened? On May 29, you can help celebrate its first birthday (aww) by donning a free party hat, getting a piece of birthday cake, and checking out some of the new rides — including the newly opened Scream Zone. You may want to save that birthday cake for last.

Birthday celebration at Luna Park [1000 Surf Ave. at W. 10th Street in Coney Island, (718-373-5862], May 29 at 11 am. Tickets $26-$30. For info, visit www.lunaparknyc.com.


In what’s become a Memorial Day weekend tradition, the Brooklyn Academy of Music devotes all three days to celebrating African American dance, film and culture. Taking the stage will be the Cuba’s Ballet Folklorico Cutumba, BAM/Restoration DanceAfrica Ensemble and several drum ensembles from May 27 to 29. From May 28 to 30, you can also pursue the free outdoor DanceAfrica Bazzar, featuring nearly 300 local and international vendors hawking African, Caribbean and African American food, fashion, artifacts, jewelry and crafts.

DanceAfrica at the Brooklyn Academy of Music [30 Lafayette Ave. between Ashland Place and St. Felix Street in Fort Greene, (718) 636-4100], May 27-30. For info, visit www.bam.org.

Fatty ’Cue BBQ

We can get behind this pairing. On May 30, Park Slope’s Beer Table heads up to Williamsburg’s Fatty ’Cue team up to for a beer-fueled, pigs and pancakes bash, featuring craft ales served with silver dollar pancakes and pulled smoke pig. It’s an all-you-can-eat-and-drink affair, which is the essence of Memorial Day in a nutshell. No advance tickets are being sold, so you’ve been forewarned.

Memorial Day at Fatty ’Cue [91 S. Sixth Street between Bedford and Berry streets in Williamsburg, (718) 599-3090], May 30 from noon to 7 pm. Tickets $40. For info, visit www.fattycue.com.

Freaks and Geeks’ TV Party

If your pasty white skin can’t handle all that sun, head indoors with your fellow brethren for a “Freaks and Geeks” TV party at the Bell House. Comedians Michael Austin and Jerm Pollet will screen all their favorite episodes of the beloved Judd Apatow show, as well as celebrate the series with themed drinks, costume and trivia contests, a high school photographer taking pictures, and even a dodge ball competition. Just don’t feel bad if you’re picked last.

“Freaks and Geeks” TV Party at the Bell House [149 Seventh St. between Second and Third avenues in Gowanus, (718) 643-6510], May 30 at 8 pm. Tickets $5. For info, visit www.thebellhouseny.com.