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What’s Happening: October 2019 in New York City

Category General

|by Mark Robinson |

Comic Con, a food festival and more

October is an exciting month in NYC, with a vast array of festivals, parties, parades and other “things to do” all over the Big Apple. The choices can be overwhelming, so we are helping you out and creating a checklist of the must-see and must-do activities you will want to explore for the month of October.


Comic Con 2019 is headed to the Javits Convention Center in October (Photo: iStock)

Comic Con 2019 is headed to the Javits Convention Center in October (Photo: iStock)

New York Comic Con 2019
From Oct. 3 – Oct. 6, 2019, if you happen to find yourself near the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, you might find a superhero or two wandering around, or a supervillain sipping on coffee. The fact that New York Comic Con 2019 will be in session might have something to do with that. Autograph sessions, panel discussions, sneak peeks of movies and a celebration of anime all come together to create the perfect storm for fans of the comic world. Among the literary guests planned for the occasion: Adam Silvera, Annalee Newitz, Ben Hatke, David Mack, Erin Williams, F.C. Yee, Marie Lu, Charlotte Nicole Davis, Brittney Morris and Cavan Scott.

New York Times Food Festival
On Oct. 5 and 6, the place to be is Bryant Park for the New York Times Food Festival. Leading chefs, representing the finest restaurants from around the world, will be on site to demonstrate their talents. Panel discussions will also offer interesting insights into the world of Haute cuisine. Tickets are required for this event, so be sure to secure yours in advance. For more information, visit If you have an “appetite” for cooking, the New York Times Food Festival is sure to inspire and educate.

A Carriage Ride in Central Park
It might be a cliché, but it is a glorious cliché! Riding through New York City’s historic Central Park in a horse-drawn carriage is something every visitor needs to do at least once in their lifetime. What better time of year to see this breathtaking park than in autumn, when all of the trees are alive with color? If you make your way to the park entrance near Columbus Circle, you will see the cabbies line up with their beautiful equine friends, ready to take you for a jaunt. Add a cup of hot coffee in hand and a bag of roasted chestnuts to snack on, and all you have to do it sit back and let the scenery do its job.

The Columbus Day Parade
For 73 years, The Columbus Day Parade has been a cultural centerpiece of American-Italian culture in New York, with over 35,000 marchers taking to the streets to celebrate the spirit of exploration. Spanning 5th Avenue from Midtown to the Upper East Side, look for an exciting array of talent including school marching bands, floats, musicians and novelty performers walking the boulevard that is strewn with Italian flags. The parade is held on Oct. 14, 2019 at 11 a.m.

Randall’s Island Harvest Festival
The sights and smells of autumn are not reserved for country farms and villages. The Randall’s Island Harvest Festival on Sunday, Oct. 6, 2019, starting at noon, is guaranteed to put you in the mood for fall fun. Among the planned activities for the whole family are pumpkin decorating, kite making, face painting, crafts, games and “Meet the Chickens.” The Harvest Festival comes courtesy of Randall’s Island Park Alliance, a free, family-friendly celebration of fall! Just make your way to Randall’s Island Park East River and Harlem.

Village Halloween Parade
Greenwich Village has always been a center for creativity, audacity and originality. It should come as no surprise, then, that the Village’s Annual Halloween Parade is one of the city’s best promenades. This year marks the 46th Annual Parade, which will be held on Oct. 31, 2019 at 7 p.m. Thirty-five bands will perform as a bevy of puppets, dancers, artists and revelers marching in their own costumes fill the street with Halloween fun. Leading the parade is this year’s Grand Marshall, Zohra the Giant Spider, and his creator, Basil Twist (a master puppeteer).

Mark Robinson is the author of the two-volume encyclopedia The World of Musicals, The Disney Song Encyclopedia and The Encyclopedia of Television Theme Songs. His forthcoming book, Sitcommentary: The Television Comedies That Changed America, will hit the shelves in October, 2019. He maintains a theater and entertainment blog at

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