Concierge.com's insider take:
Brooklyn may not have as many obvious tourist draws as its neighbor across the river, but its parties and festivals are not to be missed. If you can't get to Carnaval in Rio, the West Indian Carnival held each Labor Day is a boisterous, pulsating conga line of feathers, sequins, and steel drums blaring down Eastern Parkway (www.wiadca.com). The Mermaid Parade, held in Coney Island on the last Sunday of June, is the nation's largest arts parade, with thousands of revelers decked out in elaborate—and sometimes risqué—sea-inspired costumes. (Mermaids have a tendency to drift off into the ocean for a dip, which makes for quite the spectacle.) Celebrities such as David Byrne, Queen Latifah, and Moby have all sat in as parade royalty (www.coneyisland.com/mermaid.shtml). DUMBO Art Under the Bridge Festival is the biggest weekend in DUMBO, with interactive and guerilla-style art installations popping up all over the neighborhood (www.dumboartsfestival.com; last weekend in September). And Celebrate Brooklyn!, a summerlong outdoor festival at the Prospect Park Bandshell, boasts a dizzying spectrum of musical acts from indie stalwarts including TV On the Radio and Latin-punk superstars Manu Chao (www.briconline.org/celebrate).