The Best Memorial Day Parades and Events in New York City

2011 Sag Harbor Memorial Day Parade
Matthew Peyton / Getty Images

Editor's note: Due to remaining closures and precautions in New York City, most of these Memorial Day events have been canceled this year.

Memorial Day (originally called Decoration Day) is a day of remembrance for those who have died in service to the United States. Memorial Day is a U.S. Federal Holiday, so all schools, banks, and post offices are closed on this day. 

The good news is most restaurants, stores, and attractions do not close for the holiday weekend. In fact, as it is considered the unofficial start of summer, many seasonal attractions such as beaches plan their annual openings during the long weekend. Many New Yorkers choose to head to the country for the weekend, but the city is still fairly busy with visitors taking advantage of the typically mild weather, fewer crowds, and free activities.

Memorial Day Dates 2020 - 2022

Memorial Day is observed on the last Monday in May.

  • 2020: May 25th
  • 2021: May 31st
  • 2022: May 30th
Memorial Day Parade In Staten Island, New York
Corbis via Getty Images / Getty Images

Memorial Day Parades in New York City

Each borough in New York City conducts a parade on Memorial Day honoring the brave men and women who have fallen for our freedom.  

  • The biggest parade is the Little Neck-Douglaston Memorial Day Parade. It takes place in Queens, beginning on Jayson Avenue and Northern Boulevard at 2 p.m.
  • Brooklyn's 153-year-old parade begins on 78th Street and Third Avenue at 11 a.m. and ends at John Paul Jones Park in Bay Ridge for a memorial service.
  • On Manhattan's west side you can see the Soldiers' and Sailors' Memorial Day Observance on Riverside Drive (near 89th Street) beginning at 10 a.m.
  • Staten Island's Memorial Day Parade begins on Forest Avenue. You should be aware that you will have to arrive by car or via the free ferry, as there are no subways that run to New York's City second most famous island.
  • The Bronx's Memorial Day Parade takes place on City Island, which is a tiny island near Westchester County, NY.
Fleet Week Ship with 5 Sailors
US Navy

More Fun Memorial Day Events

  • Fleet Week, is a time-honored tradition that brings in members of the United States Navy, Marines, and Coast Guard to New York's harbors. More than 4,500 service men and women are expected to participate and free tours of their ships will be held at Pier 90, Pier 86, the Intrepid Air and Space Museum, Brooklyn Cruise Terminal and Homeport Pier on Staten Island. Editor's note: This year, all Fleet Week events have been canceled.
  • The New York Philharmonic will present a free concert at St. John the Divine at 8 p.m. Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis and ticket distribution will begin at 6:00 p.m. prior to the show.
  • In addition to the Fleet Week festivities, the Intrepid Sea, Air, and Space Museum will conduct a free flag laying ceremony beginning at 11:30 a.m.
  • Bring a blanket and enjoy a free concert at Green-Wood Cemetery
  • May is the perfect time to enjoy a game of baseball, so why not cheer on the Yankees during their home game on the Monday of Memorial Day. You can buy tickets here. The Mets will have home games May 24, 25, and 26. Get your tickets on the website.