African Arts Fest, ‘Jaws,’ and the freedom to dance: 17 things to do this weekend

If you’re not reeling from yesterday’s July 4th celebrations — or if you haven’t cleared out of town — there’s plenty for you to do around the borough this weekend.

On Friday, The International African Arts Festival continues at Commodore Barry Park with a full weekend of dance, fashion and music. That evening, Lakeside Roller Dance Night Series celebrates the music of Prince’s “Purple Rain,” and if you haven’t had enough sky booms, Coney Island continues its Friday night fireworks to cap off the evening.

“Jaws” plays at Nitehawk Williamsburg on Saturday and Sunday mornings for brunch screenings. The Freaknik NYC Picnic comes to usher in the summer vibe in Prospect Park that afternoon, and Celebrate Brooklyn! keeps the 35th-anniversary party going for “Do The Right Thing” with a screening and special guests.

Tompkins Avenue Open Streets Vendor Market has everything you need to stock up for the week in Bed-Study on Sunday afternoon. And the Amphitheater at Coney Island will help Federation Sound celebrate its 25th Anniversary with a special guest, the legendary dancehall star Sister Nancy of “Bam Bam” fame.

Friday, July 5

International African Arts Festival
Continues Friday through Sunday
The International African Arts Festival is celebrating 53 years in 2024. Join the fun at Commodore Barry Park (the oldest park in Brooklyn) for their main events — check their website for the complete schedule. The African Artisan Marketplace will be open for the entire festival. You’ll find unique fashion, presents, and treats you can’t find anywhere else. Shop racks of clothing, accessories, and more that tell the story of the people who create them. Tickets start at $15.

‘Washed Ashore: Art to Save the Sea’
On view through September 2
The New York Aquarium is transforming oceanic threats into art with its newest showcase. “Washed Ashore” is not just an exhibit, it’s a call to action that visually narrates the dire impacts of plastic pollution through 35 stunning sculptures made entirely from marine debris. 602 Surf Avenue. The exhibit is included in the cost of admission and prices vary.

Friday through Sunday with two showtimes each day
Enjoy a lovely night of jazz in a restored 19th-century Bed-Stuy Victorian brownstone. BrownstoneJAZZ Ensemble showcases the best in jazz performed by the vanguard of today’s artists. Curator Debbie McClain and emcee bassist Eric Lemons will lead an evening of jazz essentials, but buy your ticket early, because seating is limited. 107 Macon Street. $39.

Brooklyn Beaches open for summer
10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily through September 8
Our beaches reopened a few weeks ago, but since summer is finally here, this is your reminder that Brighton, Coney Island, and Manhattan Beaches are open through September 8. During beach season, lifeguards are on site from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and swimming isn’t permitted before or after they’re on duty. Brooklyn’s beaches are open through Labor Day weekend, so soak up the sun while you can. Text “BEACH” to 55676 to receive real-time opening, closing, and water quality information.

Freedom to Dance
7 p.m. to 4 a.m.
In the most “Footloose” adjacent story of the year, the NYC City Council updated antiquated zoning regulations to support small businesses, including removing the word “dance” from NYC zoning codes. In celebration of their advocacy win, Voice of Voice NYC will present the Freedom to Dance victory celebration on Friday night at Dead Letter No. 9. Boogie over on July 5 for a night of celebration, dancing, and honor the freedom to dance in NYC nightlife. 63 Grand Street. Tickets are $17.

Dreamland Roller Disco: ‘Purple Rain’
7 to 10 p.m.
Lola Star’s Dreamland Roller Disco is back for the summer as part of the Lakeside Roller Dance Night Series. This week’s theme is Prince’s “Purple Rain,” so purify yourself in the waters of Lake Minnetonka and dress up for this immersive retro roller skating experience. 171 East Drive. Tickets are $28.

The Great Coney Island Motion Picture Supershow
8:30 p.m.
On Friday night, The Great Coney Island Motion Picture Supershow brings an evening of spectacles to the land of sideshows. It’s a night of film from NYC’s premiere underground filmmakers at the legendary Coney Island Sideshow, curated by cult filmmaker Dylan Mars Greenberg. In true Coney Island form, event organizers call the evening a “once-in-a-lifetime multi-media event,” so maybe you shouldn’t miss it! 1208 Surf Avenue. Tickets are $25.

Friday Night Fireworks at Coney Island
Every Friday at 9:30 p.m. through August 30
Didn’t get enough fireworks on Thursday? You’re in luck because Coney Island has them every Friday for the rest of the summer. Kick off your weekend with Luna Park’s dazzling and free fireworks show. For the best views, stand on the Boardwalk between West 10th Street and West 23rd Street.

Saturday, July 6

‘Jaws’ at Nitehawk Williamsburg
11 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday
It wouldn’t be summer without a friendly visit from “Jaws” at the local cineplex. Just in time for the July 4th weekend, Steven Spielberg’s classic returns for two brunch screenings at Nitehawk Williamsburg. Nosh, watch and be thankful you don’t need a bigger boat. 135 Metropolitan Avenue. Tickets are $15.

Freaknik NYC Picnic
3 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Oh, you thought Freaknik was only for your parents in the ‘90s? The Party Boyz & Champagne Club brings the infamous party back to Prospect Park on Saturday. Drinks and food will be for sale. Girls are encouraged to wear their Freaknik fits, and guys are encouraged to wear their best ’90s look. Come get your freak on. Prospect Park between Ocean and Parkside Avenues. Free.

Celebrate Brooklyn! Film Night: ‘Do The Right Thing’
7:30 p.m.
The 35th-anniversary celebrations for Spike Lee’s Brooklyn classic “Do The Right Thing” continue with a screening at the Lena Horne Bandshell on Saturday night. Lee’s iconic film resonates just as poignantly and urgently today as it did in 1989. Before the screening, be sure to arrive early for a panel featuring special guests. 141 Prospect Park W. Free.

Girl? So Confusing: a charli and lorde show
8 p.m.
Come over to C’mon Everybody on Saturday night for a Charlie XCX x Lorde-themed drag show to work it out in the remix. A little pop reference for the girlies! See you there. 325 Franklin Avenue. Tickets are $12.

Sunday, July 7

That 70’s Race 5K and 10-miler
9 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Get groovy at the second NYC Parks Summer Race Series in Prospect Park this summer. Run or walk at That 70’s Race 5K and 10-miler along a scenic tree-lined course within the park. All Round Foods will have snacks and drinks on hand at the finish line. Proceeds benefit the Never Stop Running Foundation, a non-profit that supports athletic and charitable events as they raise awareness and foster community involvement. The run kicks off at the Peristyle in Prospect Park at Park Side Avenue and Parade Place. Registration cost $38.

Brooklyn Museum Pop-up Market
10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., every Sunday through mid-November
Brooklyn Pop-up is a weekly artisan market at the Brooklyn Museum. Hosted at the museum’s front plaza, a revolving roster of 35-plus artisans, designers, and makers will be on hand selling contemporary fashion, accessories, home goods, food, beauty, jewelry and more. 200 Eastern Parkway. Free.

Tompkins Avenue Open Streets Vendor Market
12 to 6 p.m., every Sunday through October 6
The Tompkins Avenue Open Streets Vendor Market is run by vendors, for vendors. Their outdoor market in Bed-Stuy maximizes exposure and profits for creators, so everything you buy has a bigger impact on their bottom line. On Sundays, they will host a mix of food, retail, and makers selling goods you won’t find anywhere else. Tompkins Avenue between Gates and Monroe Avenues.

Rum and Music | Pulse – The Festival of Music
1 to 9 p.m.
Get ready to dance the day away to the beats of the Caribbean on the roof of the Brooklyn Children’s Museum. Enjoy an afternoon with the Rum and Music team and their lineup of DJs from all over the Caribbean and indulge in delicious food and cocktails from the region. 145 Brooklyn Avenue. Tickets are $57.

Federation Sound 25th Anniversary ft. Sister Nancy
4 p.m.
For 25 years, the Federation Sound crew has shepherded the culture of Jamaican dancehall, reggae and roots music in New York City and beyond. This year Kenny Meez, Max Glazer, DJ Danglez, DJ Mace, and Alric & Boyd celebrate the milestone anniversary at the Amphitheater at Coney Island with the help of Sister Nancy, the pioneering first lady of dancehall and singer with the iconic hit “Bam Bam.” 3052 West 21 Street. Free.

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