The Clown Festival in New York City

by Ian Farquharson
Professional clowns conduct workshops at the festival.

Professional clowns conduct workshops at the festival.

Jupiterimages/ Images

Watching the goofball antics of clowns can bring a smile to any face, and most kids and adults will enjoy their performances. New York provides a chance to see clowns in action each year since 2006 when the city began staging the N.Y. Clown Theatre Festival. The Brick Theater in Brooklyn ( hosts this entertaining event.

Opening Parade

The Clown Festival traditionally gets underway with a parade on its opening day, and anyone participate. Many of the clowns performing during the festival will take part, providing an opportunity to get a close-up view of them in action. The parade starts at Union Square Park, with the gathered masses riding the L-train subway service to Bedford Station. The parade continues to the Brick Theater on foot and usually ends with a public pie fight and clown cabaret. As a free event, it's a great way to spend an evening in New York City.

Main Shows

The festival generally takes place over a period of around three weeks in September, and during this time many top-class professional clowns will perform at the Brick Theater. These feature acts from across the United States, although the festival also has an international flavor and clowns from other countries may perform. Most clowns give evening performances during the festival, and cabaret nights will feature short routines. Family shows also take place in the afternoon. Most shows charge for attendance.

Workshops and Lectures

For anyone with a burning ambition to become a clown, the festival provides a great opportunity to learn. Top clown performers conduct workshops to provide attendees with demonstrations and instructions on their craft. These generally take place over a day, and there is a fee for attendance. Some clowns may also offer lectures on the art, and these may be free to anyone interested in the life of a clown.

Closing Procession

The festival ends with the Clown Funeral Procession. This involves a comedic funeral casket making its way from the Bedford Station to the Brick Theater, followed by a group of clowns mourning the passing of the festival. This free event is open to anyone that wants to take part in the fun and games, and the traditional closing night party following the procession helps to end the festival on an upbeat note.

About the Author

Ian Farquharson has worked as a freelance writer since 2008. He has written for individual clients, as well as various online publications, and brings sports and travel expertise to eHow. He has a Bachelor of Engineering in civil engineering from Dundee College of Technology.

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/ Images