Your Fourth of July holiday weekend guide

7/5/2011, 12:12 a.m.

If you're staying in the city this Fourth of July weekend there's plenty to do around town. Here's a list to keep you and your family busy for celebrating the holiday.

International African Festival

The International African Festival is scheduled to take place from July 1 to July 4 at Commodore Barry Park in Brooklyn. The festival is open daily from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. rain or shine and features music and dance performances, spoken word events, fashion shows and an arts and crafts market.

Emancipation Day at Weeksville

The Weeksville Heritage Center, located at 1698 Bergen Street in Brooklyn, will celebrate Emancipation Day on Saturday, July 2 at 4 p.m. The event will feature a reading and discussion with Teju Cole. In tribute of the 50th Anniversary of African Independence, Wuyi Jacobs from Afrobeat Radio will interview author, Teju Cole, about his current and upcoming work, Open City. A concert will be held starting at 6 p.m.

Public Pools and Beaches

The city's beaches opened earlier this week with many people staying cool along the miles of coastline in the Big Apple. Beaches are open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. when lifeguards are on duty. The Park's Department is advising people to stay away from the water on beaches when lifeguards are not on duty. The 54 public outdoor swimming pools around the city are also open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily. To find the beach or pool near you log on to http://www.parksgovnyc.org.


There are several fireworks shows scheduled around the city this week. The largest and most widely attend fireworks display is the Macy's 4th of July Fireworks on the Hudson River. Fireworks will be set off at 9 p.m. for a 25-minute show. The best place to see the presentation is along 12th Avenue or 11th Avenue between 57th and 24th Streets.

Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest

If your stomach can handle it, head over to Coney Island on July 4th for Nathan's Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest at the corner of Surf and Stillwell Avenues on Coney Island. Over 30,000 spectators are expected to come out to the event. This year for the first time the contest will feature a women's competition. Last year's winner, Joey Chestnut, ate 54 hot dogs in 10 minutes. Log onto www.nathansfamous.com for more information.

Public Transportation and Closures

In observance of Independence Day there will be several closures around the city. Post offices, government buildings, city offices and courts will be closed along with no mail, garbage and recycling pickups. Most banks are also closed for the holiday. Subways and busses will be operating on a Saturday schedule on the Fourth of July.