As someone who only made it to the final night of the festival last year, I can whole heartedly say Celebrate Brooklyn! is not one to miss. Tonight marks the first night of the festival with a free performance by none other than the electrifying Janelle Monae. Kicking off its 36th season, Celebrate Brooklyn! is one of New York’s longest running (have I mentioned free?) performing arts festivals.
Initially launched in 1979 as an incentive to bring people back to Prospect Park, Celebrate Brooklyn! has become an anchor of the New York festival scene–showcasing over 2,000 artists and ensembles over the years. To give you an idea: last year my night consisted of a live orchestra-ed screening of Beasts of the Southern Wild with Quvenzhané Wallis herself introducing the film. This was all enjoyed by stuffing my face with delicious BBQ from local Brooklyn restaurant tents that encircled the bandshell. It was by far one of the best nights of summer and I won’t be making the mistake this year by missing out. Janelle Monae is set to kick off the show in her usual, funky fashion at 8 PM and if you can still stand on your danced-out feet after her performance, your next stop should absolutely be the Dance Apocalyptic After Party (tickets can be purchased via paypal). Brooklyn, I hope you’re ready to groove your heart out for the rest of the season. (Celebrate Brooklyn!)