English in NYC Series: Summer Parades

English in NYC Series: Summer Parades

New York City comes alive during the summer season with a variety of exciting events, and one of the most captivating experiences is attending a summer parade. These parades showcase the city’s diverse culture, vibrant traditions, and community spirit. In this guide we talk about some of NYC’s most famous summer parades. 

  1. Mermaid Parade:

The Coney Island Mermaid Parade is held every June, this magical parade brings together people dressed as mermaids, pirates, and other sea creatures. Thousands of people, both to watch and participate, come to Coney Island to see the extraordinary costumes, fun shows, and lively floats. The Mermaid Parade is a celebration of creativity and the joy of summer.

  1. Pride Parade:

The Pride Parade in New York City is a powerful demonstration of love, acceptance, and equality, celebrated in June during Pride Month. This parade attracts millions of participants and spectators from diverse backgrounds. Colorful floats, lively performances, and heartfelt messages create an electrifying atmosphere as the parade winds its way through Manhattan. The Pride Parade serves as a reminder of the progress made in LGBTQ+ rights and the ongoing fight for inclusivity.

  1. Puerto Rican Day Parade:

The Puerto Rican Day Parade, held in June along Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, is a dazzling tribute to Puerto Rican culture and heritage. This grand procession features marching bands, traditional folkloric performances, and beautifully adorned floats. The parade showcases the pride of the Puerto Rican community, with vibrant music, colorful attire, and a celebration of unity.

  1. Dominican Day Parade:

The Dominican Day Parade, held in August along Sixth Avenue, is a lively celebration of Dominican culture and contributions. This vibrant parade showcases traditional music, dance, and dazzling costumes. The sounds of merengue and bachata fill the air, and the parade displays the vibrant Dominican flags and symbols. The Dominican Day Parade is a joyous celebration of the Dominican community’s rich heritage and achievements in New York City.

  1. West Indian American Day Carnival Parade:

In Brooklyn, on Labor Day, the West Indian American Day Carnival Parade arrives. 

At this parade New Yorkers celebrate the rich cultural heritage of Caribbean communities in New York City. Participants wear colorful costumes at Eastern Parkway. It’s a lively celebration of Caribbean traditions.

New York City’s summer parades offer a vibrant and culturally rich experience. Attending these parades allows New Yorkers to celebrate diverse traditions and celebrate the spirit of unity and community. From the Mermaid Parade to the vibrant West Indian American Day Carnival Parade, these parades give an opportunity to embrace cultural diversity and create lasting memories. So, join in the festivities, experience the energy, and celebrate summer in NYC’s spectacular parades!

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English in NYC Series: Mr. Softee

Practicing your English in NYC Series:

Mr. Softee!

Have you seen this truck?

Among NYC’s many delights is Mr. Softee, an ice cream truck that is a huge part of summer joy and childhood memories- and what better way to use English than talking about ice cream! 

Ice Cream Vocabulary:

Before jumping into the world of Mr. Softee, let’s start by looking at some ice cream vocabulary.

Here are some words and phrases you might need when ordering from an ice cream truck:

Mr. Softee is not just an ice cream truck; it is a part of New York City. It has been in NYC for many years.

One of the most exciting things about Mr. Softee is the menu. Practice common phrases and expressions like “Can I have a scoop of chocolate ice cream, please?” or “I’d like a vanilla cone with sprinkles, please.” Mr. Softee in NYC offers more than just delicious ice cream, it can provide you with a chance to learn new vocabulary and practice your English language in a fun and easy way. So, next time you hear Mr. Softee’s song, grab a sweet treat and practice your English skills!

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Asian-American Pacific Islander month!

May is Asian-American Pacific Islander month, and Bryant Park is celebrating all month long!

On May 12, there are many events in which to participate!

May 12, 2023, 3:00pm–7:00pm

Join us on Friday, May 12 in the afternoon to celebrate the AAPI instructors, educators, and cultural partners that collaborate with Bryant Park throughout the year. Circle though the park and try your hand at different workshops and classes all afternoon and be sure to stick around for the evening showcase. All activities are open to all ages and are first-come, first-served.

Check out some of the events below:


Friday, May 12, 2023

3pm – 3:45pm and 4pm – 4:45pm

Putting Green

Led by kung fu master David Fung from the New York Chinese Cultural Center, these family-friendly workshops give participants an excellent method of exercise and emphasize on learning basic stances, strikes, and techniques


Friday, May 12, 2023

4pm – 5pm

Upper Terrace

Bryant Park has partnered with CK Chu Tai Chi School for 20 years. Learn the basics of this traditional system of heath and self-defense, and improve harmony between body and mind. 



Friday, May 12, 20235:30pm – 6:30pm Reading Room

Led by teaching artist Angela Lai from the New York Chinese Cultural Center, this family-friendly workshop demonstrates how to write/paint with an ink brush and to learn the relationship between ancient Chinese pictographs and their modern-day ideographs. 


Friday, May 12, 2023

Upper Terrace 5pm – 6pm

Led by teaching artist Kitty Kan from the New York Chinese Cultural Center, this family-friendly workshop introduces participants to basic ribbon dance techniques. Come prepared to learn some fun movements and dance creatively with the ribbons.


Friday, May 12, 2023

6:30pm – 7pm

East side of the fountain

References: AAPI Heritage Month Celebration (bryantpark.org)

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Loisaida Month! Learn the history and Culture of the Lower East Side

May is Loisaida Month!

There are numerous events, but the most exciting one happens at the end of the month!

The Loisaida Festival – The largest Puerto Rican community celebration in Lower Manhattan since 1987!


The Loisaida Festival


SUNDAY, MAY 28 –  2023

Since 1987, the Loisaida Festival has honored its history by providing a platform to celebrate arts & culture through music, dance, arts, cuisine, and other cultural celecrations of the diverse ethnic groups and nationalities that make up the fabric of the neighborhood. The Loisaida Festival highlights the unity and resolve of the Lower East Side while featuring the contributions of the diverse immigrant communities, largely Puerto Rican and Latin American, who for many generations made such an indelible mark in its history, arts, culture, politics, economy, growth, and traditions. It continues to be an iconic event focusing on Latino culture, music, cuisine, and art, while envisioning a brighter, greener, and healthier future for our ever growing  communities.

For events happening before May 28th to celebrate Loisada month, click the link below.

Events for May 2023 | Loisaida Inc.

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Are you looking for a fun activity for any age?

Do you like to eat delicious food?

Have you ever wanted to feel like you’re in Japan without leaving NYC?

Now that the weather is nice, check out NYC’s outdoor Japanese Food Festival:


Photograph: Courtesy of Japan Fes

Time Out says:

Crowds flock to this delicious pop-up, which runs from spring through the fall, transforming parts of NYC into a sliver(1)of Japan. This massive festival attracts more than 250,000 people every year. This year, it’ll be held 20 times during the season running through October 28, making it the biggest JAPAN Fes yet. Locations include Chelsea, Astoria, NoMad, Park Slope, the East Village and more. 

Snack on treats from 750 vendors inspired by Japanese and East Asian street food like takoyaki (octopus balls), sushi, gyoza, Korean-style rice hot dogs, Taiwanese popcorn chicken, and much more. After you’re full, shop for Japanese crafts and gifts featured at the event.

Here’s the full JAPAN Fes schedule for 2023:


— April 15 in Chelsea
— April 29 in Chelsea
— April 30 in Astoria


— May 20 in NoMad
— May 21 in Park Slope


— June 4 in Midtown West
— June 17 in the East Village
— June 18 in Park Slope


— July 2 in Astoria
— July 15 in Chelsea


— August 26 in the East Village
— August 27 in the East Village


— September 9 in the Upper East Side
— September 16 in Chelsea
— September 17 in Chelsea


— October 7 in the East Village
— October 8 in the Upper West Side
— October 28 in the East Village


Sliver: a small, thin piece of something cut or split off a larger piece.


  1. Japan Fes New York is back for 2023 with a massive foodie festival (timeout.com)
  2. Sliver- Oxford English Dictionary
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Itchy eyes? Runny Nose? Sneezing? Headaches?

It sounds like it might be…



If you’re anything like me, as soon as April hits, your allergies go wild!

According to the weather channel, there will be a moderate to high level of pollen in the air.

That means we will feel itchy, stuffy, and sneezy until it rains. Rain lowers the pollen levels in the air, making it easier for us to breathe. Make sure to take your allergy medicine, wear a mask if you’d like, and do your best to stay away from pollen and dust as you enjoy the warmer spring weather!

The pollen being released from the trees causes people to have allergies.

You can check the pollen levels in the air by watching the news, downloading a weather app to your smartphone, or going on Weatherchannel.com and looking at the chart below.

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April Fool’s Day

April Fools’ Day

I want to tell you… I just gave birth to 5 babies last weekend. Isn’t that exciting? Oh, you don’t believe me? Okay then, I stole some money from a bank on Saturday night. Now do you believe me? (Actually, I hope you don’t.) April 1st, or April Fools’ Day, is the day when we play jokes on people. Do you have it in your country?


a fool– someone who doesn’t understand what is happening

to tease– laugh at, make fun of someone, joke about something

to play a joke (on someone)– to do something funny that another person doesn’t know about or suspect at first

container– something that holds something else, like a box, a bottle, or a jar

to play a trick (on someone)– same as play a joke

in the spirit of fun– with an atmosphere of fun, just for fun, lighthearted

April Fool’s Day started in the sixteenth century in Europe. Before that time, New Year’s Day was celebrated on April 1st. Then a new calendar was introduced called the Gregorian calendar. January 1st became the first day of the year, but many people did not know about it. So those who continued to celebrate New Year’s Day on April 1st were teased. They were called fools.

Nowadays we play jokes on people on April 1st. For example, someone might put salt in the sugar container so another person could “accidentally” put it in their coffee. Or someone might change the time on another person’s alarm clock so that person would unknowingly wake up earlier or later than planned. Or maybe a person would tell a lie to make someone else shocked.

After we play the trick, we say “April Fool.” Then the person realizes they were fooled. It is generally done in the spirit of fun and doesn’t cause any real harm to anyone. Do you have any great jokes to play on anyone on April 1st? Try it out. Just don’t forget to say “April Fool” when the other person begins looking a little confused.

Reference: April Fool’s Day (5minuteenglish.com)

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