116th Street Festival

116th Street Festival
June 11th, 2012
Manhattan, New York City

There are endless reasons to plan a trip to New York City. If you're looking for a special excuse to plan a trip, check out a list of local festivals. One fun option is the 116th Street Festival. This street festival has been celebrating Hispanic culture for over 25 years with food, music, games, and more. While New York is a big city, it is also full of small neighborhoods. This festival is a display of pride in a neighborhood, created both for local residents and visitors.

116th street latin festival foodThe Basics

The 116th Street Festival takes place one Saturday every June. In 2011, the festival took place on Saturday, June 11 when the weather is warm and pleasant to enjoy strolling along the streets listening to music and taking in the festivities. This festival stretches for 28 blocks, making it the largest Latin festival in New York City. There are a number of attractions at the festival, including 3 main stages for music, 2 secondary stages, and over 200 vendors and exhibits.

Celebrating Cultures

Travelers that might not be familiar with New York might be wondering what exactly the 116th Street Festival is celebrating. This festival highlights all different aspects of El Barrio culture , including different cultural influences from Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic , Mexico , and South America . With so many different influences, the festival is full of a variety of cuisine, music, dance, and vendors.

Specific Details

If you want to sample the cuisine, listen to the music, and join in on the fun this June there are a few things to know. The festival stretches along 3rd Avenue from East 106th Street to East 122nd Street, and along 116 Street between Lexington Avenue and 1st Avenue. Stages are spread out all over the place and a day can easily be spent wandering through the packed streets sampling street food and listening to different concerts. Every year over 900,000 people arrive to take in the festivities from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Fun for the Whole Family

The 116th Street Festival is created with families in mind. Concerts are family-friendly (as are our NYC vacation rentals), and there are small games and rides for kids as well. Beyond music and street food, there are also many vendors selling folkloric art and other crafts. While many residents of t he Spanish Harlem neighborhood attend this event, families come from across the city for the festivities. The easiest way to reach this area of the city is to take the 6 local train (not the express train) to 116th Street.

Concert Stages

Every year the best names in Hispanic music take to the stage during the 116th Street Festival. There are three main stages that all have different themes. Stage One is located at 106th Street, and the theme here is general culture. Stage Two is located at 112th Street and the theme is salsa. The final major stage, Stage Three , is located at 122nd Street and the theme is family. Many festival-goers wander between the three stages during the all day event. There are also many smaller, secondary stages that feature local talent.

Who Attends the Festival?

One of the main questions travelers might have about the 116th Street Festival is who attends. This annual festival is a big celebration for residents of Spanish Harlem, but many people with Hispanic heritage from New Jersey, Connecticut, and even Florida and the Caribbean plan their travels to attend the festival. In addition, the running joke in New York is that on the day of the 116th Street Festival, everyone in New York is Puerto Rican.

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