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The 5 Best Festivals in Madison Square Park

Located just across from the famed Flatiron Building, Madison Square Park is the very heart of NoMad, offering abundant green space, shady seating areas and community events throughout the year. That said, a number of annual festivals held in the park are quite popular, drawing thousands of visitors to the area to enjoy great food, fun activities and fantastic live music. Here are 5 festivals in Madison Square Park that are definitely worth checking out.

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1. Big Apple Barbecue Block Party

With all the excellent “foodie” destinations available here in NYC, and particularly in NoMad…sometimes you just want a big plate of ribs. Held every June, the weekend-long Big Apple Barbecue Block Party isn’t just the biggest festival of its kind in the city—it’s the biggest in the nation. Over 100,000 BBQ lovers flock to Madison Square Park to enjoy tasty barbecue delights from dozens of top chefs and pit masters from across the nation, along with a selection of beers, wines and desserts—not to mention an ongoing lineup of great music all weekend long on the main stage. Heads-up: The next festival is coming upon us quickly, on June 9-10, 2018. It’s a ticketed event, so grab your tickets here, and be sure to bring an empty stomach and plenty of sunscreen.

2. Kids Fest: Stages in the Square

Rapidly becoming a fall tradition in NoMad, Kids Fest takes over the park for an entire day in October with fun events and kid-friendly performances on two stages. The event hosts a different round of performers each year, including theatrical presentations and musical guests, and food vendors are on hand to keep the nourishment coming. It’s fun, family-friendly, and best of all, free! Keep watch of the Madison Park Conservancy Page for information on this year’s Kids Fest to be announced.

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3. Madison Square Eats

This event is so good, they have it twice a year! Hosted by Urbanspace, Madison Square Eats is a pop-up food market held spring and fall in Worth Square, just across from Madison Square Park. Sample delicacies from some of NYC’s finest restaurants and eateries, all in one place—a foodie’s paradise. Watch this space for word on the next Madison Square Eats festival, coming up this fall.

4. Madison Square Music: Summer Nights

Okay, so this isn’t merely a one-day music fest—it’s a whole summer’s worth of great live music! The Summer Nights concert series has become a mainstay of the park, featuring a diverse lineup of fantastic musical acts from all over the world. Enjoy the groove of one of NYC’s best funk bands one week, and the exotic rhythms of the Caribbean the next—the options are endless. Enjoy the music under the cool, tree canopy while enjoying food and drink from local vendors.

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5. Leaf Fest

It’s autumn fun, the way we all used to enjoy it as kids! Hosted every November by the Madison Square Park Conservancy, Leaf Fest is part-family outing and part-community service as the park calls on residents to help rake and bag the leaves in the park. In return, kids get to run and jump in the (huge) piles of leaves, and participants enjoy cider, donuts, scavenger hunts and more!

To learn more about these and other fun festivals and events throughout the year, both in Madison Square Park and throughout NoMad, be sure to check out our ongoing calendar of events at ExperienceNoMad.com. See you in the park!

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