August is a unique month. It has no national holidays, but it’s when many workers take vacations. The weather is hot and humid, but it has the highest birth rate of any month in the United States. And in Queens, it’s a time when many annual festivities fill the streets, but this year, a few inaugural events are planned, too.
Aug. 4, Kew Gardens Festival of Cinema, Aug. 13. This inaugural event will show more than 100 short- and feature-length works from all genres, including documentary, horror, comedy, animation, and experimental. Plus, there will be filmmaker Q&A sessions after each screening and industry panels. Main venue is Kew Gardens Cinemas, 81-05 Lefferts Blvd. (kewgardensfestivalofcinema.com)
Aug. 4, Jamaica JAMS, Aug. 5. This 21st annual event attracts about 200,000 revelers who enjoy live performances, fashion, arts and more than 500 vendors. Friday night’s fun will include a concert at Rufus King Park (153rd Street and 89th Avenue). On Saturday, ten blocks of Jamaica Avenue (Parsons Boulevard to 170th Street) will be closed just for the main party. This year, performing dancers will also offer workshops. (go2ccj.org)
Aug. 12, Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival, Aug. 13. More than 180 teams (roughly 2,500 participants) will compete in this 27th annual extravaganza. The rowers will paddle colorful, custom-made teak boats with ornate, carved dragon heads. Each team has 18 paddlers, a drummer, and a person who steers. Don’t forget the traditional lion and dragon dances. Meadow Lake, Flushing Meadows Corona Park. (hkdbf-ny.org)
Aug. 17, Jazzmobile 2017, 4 pm to 8 pm. Attend a block party extraordinaire with Eric Kurimski and Moneco Cumbia Band, followed by Ray Mantilla High Voltage. Louis Armstrong House Museum, 34-56 107th St., Corona. (louisarmstronghouse.org)
Aug. 18, Taiwan: A World of Orchids, Aug. 20. Check out a stunning display of exquisite Taiwanese orchids and participate in a weekend-long celebration of Taiwanese culture. Queens Botanical Garden, 43-50 Main St., Flushing. (queensbotanical.org)
Aug. 19, Clay Club: Community Sculpture Studio, 10 am to 2 pm. Music by Jamaica-born, NYC-raised deejay/sonic disrupter SHYBOI, food, and drop-in art projects. SculptureCenter, 44-19 Purves St., LIC. (sculpture-center.org)
Aug. 20, ECIPS Music Festival, 1 pm. Remy Ma, who calls herself “The Queen of Rap,” headlines an all-day concert with R&B, Hip Hop, Latin, Soca, and Reggae performers. Roy Wilkins Park, Merrick and Baisley boulevards, Jamaica. (ecipsmusicfestival.com)
Aug. 23, Bee Smart Honey Harvest Festival, 1 pm. Tasty, fun, and informative activities for all ages. See how the in-house beekeeper harvests honey, make bee-inspired art, taste honey from different hives and regions, and learn what makes a bee-friendly garden. Enjoy house punch made with garden-grown grapes. Voelker Orth Museum, 149-19 38th Ave., Flushing. (vomuseum.org)
Aug. 26, Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day, 1 pm. This is the world’s largest, single-day, grassroots tennis and entertainment event with chart-topping music acts and pro tennis players coming together to celebrate tennis legend and humanitarian Arthur Ashe. Consider interactive games, music and tennis activities for all ages and abilities. Then consider a free concert with up-and-coming talent. (arthurashe.org)
Bonus: Through Aug. 17, Free Shakespeare. The Hip to Hip Theatre Company (hiptohip.org) presents family-friendly versions of two Shakespeare plays — Henry IV and Measure for Measure – in outdoor spaces throughout Queens. The schedule started in July, but here’s the lineup for the rest of August: Aug. 10, Measure for Measure, Cunningham Park, Fresh Meadows, 7:30 pm; Aug. 11, Henry IV, Voelker Orth Museum, Flushing, 7 pm; Aug. 12, Henry IV, Gantry Plaza State Park, LIC, 7 pm; Aug. 13, Measure for Measure, Socrates Sculpture Park, LIC, 4:30 pm; Aug. 15, Measure for Measure, Sunnyside Gardens Park, 7 pm; and Aug. 17, Henry IV, Cunningham Park, Fresh Meadows, 7:30 pm.
The “It’s In Queens” column is produced by the Queens Tourism Council with the hope that readers will enjoy the borough’s wonderful attractions. More info and events at itsinqueens.com.