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Long Island's 10 Unmissable Events and Festivals in August
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Long Island's 10 Unmissable Events and Festivals in August

Picture of Anastasia Bow-Bertrand
Updated: 9 February 2017
Long Island boasts a relaxed community spirit during the late summer months, with August being the climax of pre-school and work-returnee bliss. With a wide range of both open-air and indoor activities, the common vein across this selection is the collective atmosphere of experience and enjoyment. From Marvel Universe experiences to al fresco cinema screenings and plenty of delicious eats, Long Island offers a bumper crop of cultural events this August.

Performing Arts | Marvel Universe Live

21 – 24 August

An unusual choice, and perhaps not everyone’s favourite, but certainly an unmissable option for any superhero fans, The Nassau Coliseum have invited the Live Show Experience of Marvel Universe Live for a four-day event. Promising to be unlike any live show experience you may have seen before, Marvel Universe Live will win-over comic book and film aficionados from the off. You can watch your iconic and adored Marvel superheroes including Spider-Man, Iron Man and Hulk as well as a gang of threatening villains come to life in an action-packed arena world. From now until late August, the show will tour around select cities in North America, so this is your chance to indulge in some science-fiction entertainment, and enjoy some brilliant special effects, pyrotechnics, martial arts, aerial stunts, motorbikes and more. Pitched as a once in a lifetime experience, the collective audience enjoyment promises an electric atmosphere; previous viewers commend the performance for being family-friendly and utterly engrossing.

Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, 1255 Hempstead, Turnpike, Uniondale, NY, United States, +1 516-794-9300

Culture | Concert on the Hill and Classic Car Show

2 August

A perfect weekend option for fans of racing green colours and 50s and 60s music, Letchworth State Park in the Genesse region of Long Island is playing host to a glut of family orientated activities, not least this Concert on the Hill and Classic Car Show. Stroll in, or roar up in Aston Martin DB5 at 3pm following a leisurely lie-in. Taking place at the Trailside Lodge, there will be a formal car show, with car judging starting at 6.30pm, thirty minutes before everything winds down. Expect trophies, champagne and delectable nibbles. Organisers recommend bringing a blanket and your own picnic basket choc-a-block with tasty bites and positioning yourself on the hill to enter throes at a brilliant old school mix of blues, country and rock and roll. For those who want to arrive early, Letchworth is a patchwork of scenic treasures, with our personal highlight being a 17-mile gorge, carved by the Genesse River as it pelts its ways through the park in a race of waterfalls and meanders. From nature at its best to saxophones and leather seats, this looks set to be a perfect afternoon of nostalgia and decadence.

Letchworth State Park, 1 Letchworth State Park, Castile, NY, United States, +1 585-493-3600

Food | St Rocco’s feast

29 July – 3 August

An imposing building with main hall and adjacent spire, Saint Rocco’s Church in Glen Cove is usually home to Catholic contemplation, silence, and worship. Although these three are arguably still present during the five-day extravaganza of St Rocco’s Feast, crowds, indulgence and entertainment are at the forefront of what locals describe as the ‘best feast experience in the East’. Feast scarcely does justice to this long-established tradition, which attracts tens of thousands of people all eager to sample the famous sausage and pepper sandwiches and the multitude of delicious meals lovingly prepared in their Pasta Restaurant which specialises in homemade pasta and Italian specialities. Fancy something more American? The wide assortment of food vendors will satisfy all tastes. Make sure you leave room for an amble to the delightfully named ‘Pastry Pavilion’ to indulge in buttery treats and enjoy live music in the twilight. If you can, watch the traditional Procession of Saint Rocco which takes place after the 10 am Mass on the Sunday. The perfect marriage of celebration and altruism, the bed-bound and sick are visited on this tour to take a little of the festivities into the houses of the neighbourhood.

St Rocco’s Feast, Church of Saint Rocco, 18 3rd St, Glen Cove, NY, United States, +1 516-676-2482

Music | Alive After Five

14 & 28 August

Head to Patchogue’s main street on the mid and last Thursday of August for Alive After Five’s 13th annual summer street festival. This free summer fair packs seven stages with live music and entertainment, as well as offering over 100 craft and retail stalls, food outlets, children’s activities and typical fairground amusements. Growing year on year, this community focused festival draws visitors from across New York, not least for its relaxed and endless summer evenings vibe. Running from 5 – 9.30pm on selected evenings, the festival certainly lives up to its name. Whether you are dropping in after a hot day in an office, or heading en masse after a relaxed day-off, Alive After Five will put a spring in even the weariest of steps. Priding itself on being a hub of local music, headliners include Tumi Arts and Mango Brothers, while alternative stage performances boast a fashion show, School of Rock, and Dance troupes. And if the weather looks unfavourable on the day, the fun is postponed – but not for long – until 4 September.

Patchogue Chamber of Commerce, 15 N Ocean Ave, Patchogue, NY, United States, +1 631-475-0121

Art | Free First Friday at The Noguchi Museum

1 August

The Noguchi Museum was designed and founded by internationally renowned Japanese-American artist Isamu Noguchi (1904-1988) to display what he regarded as representative examples of his life’s work. Opened three years before Noguchi’s death, the museum is housed in a stunning converted industrial building, attached to an edifice and interior garden of his own design. Based in the vibrant Queens neighbourhood of Long Island City, the Museum is a popular choice for tourists and locals alike who want a flavour of one of the pivotal institutions and artists in shaping Queens’ art scene. In a spin-off of London’s Friday Lates, the Noguchi Museum has introduced free Friday entry to all on the first Friday of the month during the summer holiday. Public tours in both Japanese and English are held at 2pm, but if you can’t get there until later in the afternoon, you can profit from extended evening hours until 8pm. On this date in August, visitors can enjoy an in-depth conversation around a single piece of Noguchi’s art (catchily titled ‘Center of Attention’) with a charming bar serving chilled beer and wine.

The Noguchi Museum, 9-01 33rd Rd, New York, NY, United States, +1 718-204-7088

Film | Movies on the Harbor: Port Jefferson

5, 12 & 19 August

Perhaps not the most picturesque of spots, but certainly a lively one, Harborfront Park in the Village of Port Jefferson plays host to an annual series of outdoor movies which invariably proves hugely popular. Showtime is loosely described as ‘at dusk’, which again invites a regalement of home-packed suppers, deckchairs and fluffy jumpers. Pitched at children, and the big child in us all, the listings offered on the respective Thursdays are: ‘Gravity’, ‘The Lego Movie’ and ‘Frozen’. ‘The Lego Movie’ is sure to be a favourite with the Long Island crowd, while Walt Disney’s ‘Frozen’ has hit the under-12 market by storm. From Frozen-themed sing-alongs in London and New York, to re-prints of Hans Christian Anderson’s fairy tale ‘The Snow Queen’ from which the film is inspired, prepare to be entranced by this tale of a feisty princess’s adventures. Fancy dress is strongly encouraged. It is also worth keeping an eye on summer-time wide offerings from the Port Jefferson community; most notably the music in the park programme which takes place of a Wednesday evening.

Port Jefferson Village Center, 101 E Broadway, Port Jefferson, NY, United States

Food | The Great Food Truck Derby

8 August

Back due to popular demand, the once-a-year offering from the Edible Manhattan team returns to Bridgehampton. Collecting together a bonanza of mobile food stalls (which explains why this foodie festival has earned the name ‘Great Food Truck Derby’) the focus is strictly local, prioritising fresh ingredients and homegrown cuisine. Parked amidst potato fields at the Hayground School, New York City and Long Island food trucks nestle alongside the Big Apple’s home-brewed wine, beer and soft drink offerings. Visitors pay a fixed ticket price of $65.00 ($20.00 for children), which entitles you to sample a serving of food or drink from every truck (of which there are upward of twenty!). It is best to go with an empty stomach, and a refreshing run planned for the following day, because previous attendants cannot praise the range and quality of foodstuffs highly enough. Particular favourites include: Andy’s Italian Ices, Hampton Coffee Company Mobile Espresso Unity, Clifton Dry Premium Cider and Morris Grilled Cheese. The Hayground School Community market will take place on the same day, as will one-off culinary arts workshops for any budding mini Masterchefs.

Hayground School, 151 Mitchells Ln, Bridgehampton, NY, United States

Music | Long Island Blues Festival

9 – 10 August

The Long Island Blues Festival is now in its second year, run and inspired by The Long Island Blues Relief Fund. Established in 2012 to support businesses, families and individuals who were left devastated following Hurricane Sandy, the Relief Fund seeks to offer both practical and financial help now as well as the wonderful long term aim of restoring community security and bringing Long Islanders home ‘through musical activism’. Philanthropy meets entertainment at this two-day gig housed in the village of Freeport. With ticket prices from $25 – $60, the brains behind the festival has strived to make it both accessible and profitable in terms of charitable income. With lesser-known blues artists such as Little Mike & the Tornadoes, Joe Louis Walker and Popa Chubby brushing swing tunes with classic artists of Carolyn Harding and Two Finger Jake, festivalgoers are in for a real treat. Last year the event with very much tinted with a bittersweet note, which in fact shapes the entire work of the Blues Relief Fund. Sure to be a poignant and memorable festival for all, in particular fans of a slow and easy beat.

Cow Meadow Park and Preserve, South Main Street, Merrick, NY, United States, +1 516-572-0200

Sport | Somerset Patriots at Long Island Ducks

15 – 17 & 21 – 24 August

Turn your speakers on and head to the Official Website of the Long Island Ducks. Not only to get your tickets to the summer season which sees the local baseball team play host to the Somerset Patriots, but also to listen to the hilarious duck sound-bite which echoes with every click. Annoying after a while, but oh so entertaining at first. Even if you are not an avid follower of the baseball league more generally, the summer season offers the perfect date idea (with friends or your significant other). A must-do for the tourist wanting a taste of an iconic, and much-loved American sport, gates open just before 7pm on the evening of each Patriot and LI Ducks game. With a healthy history of equivalent team prowess over the years, the crowd buoys the entire experience. To really get involved, make sure that you are one of the first 1,500 fans into the stadium, as you will receive an exclusive black logo T-shirt to celebrate their 15th Anniversary. The Court House also welcomes a range of other teams over this period, so it is worth checking the game schedule to make sure you catch some of the highlights of the season.

Long Island Ducks, 3 Court House Dr, Central Islip, NY, United States

Art | Printmaking Course

16 August

How many of us never have the time to indulge our creative side or revisit an old hobby? This summer, the East End Arts School are offering a fantastic range of one-day arts and crafts taster days, to engage new-comers and reacquaint old hands to a therapeutic range of activities. The iconic East End Arts printmaking press is available to be rented out by certified members in the creation of their own artwork, thanks to the backing of artists Bob Berks. Fear not, certification is simple, and can be acquired in one Saturday. An interesting mix of theory in which participants learn the components of the press and the correct set-up for each plates and which papers to use, as well as hands-on activity, the group leaders are brilliant, being both enthusiastic and highly knowledgeable. Running from 10.30 am – 1.30 pm, the trial costs $25 for EEA members and $54 for non-members. If you wish to use the press, and profit from East End Arts’ other courses (which include private music instruction, summer camps and annual art galas), we recommend becoming a member. This course is a perfect example of EEA’s commitment to ‘building and enriching’ their community through the arts, by way of ‘education, support, advocacy and inspiration’.

East End Arts, 133 E Main St, Riverhead, NY, United States +1 (631) 727-0900

If you are looking for a great brunch spot in Long Island before an action-packed day, this article is worth a read.

By Anastasia Bow-Bertrand