The shortest day of the year — Winter Solstice — is Dec. 21. Afterward, brighter days will come. In other words, it’s time to dance in the streets!

Singers, musicians and happy hoofers of all skill levels will form a New Orleans-style “second line” parade and meander joyously through Corona as part of the citywide Make Music Winter celebration on Friday.

At noon, revelers will gather at Corona Plaza, in the vicinity of 103rd Street and Roosevelt Avenue. Then, they will belt out call-and-response standards as they make their way toward the Louis Armstrong House Museum, 34-56 107th St., for a finale at about 1 p.m.

Vocalist Antoinette Montague, known as “Jazz Woman to the Rescue,” will lead a Dixieland-swing-band that features Patience Higgins on saxophone, Frank Lacy on trombone, and Kenny Bentley on tuba with percussionists Kevin Raczka and Chauncey Yearwood.

Expect many rambunctious, soulful songs from “Dedicated to Louis Armstrong” a musical written by Roz Nixon, a Cambria Heights native who is a main organizer of this event. When asked about the best way to participate, Nixon responded: “By bringing a beautiful, uninhibited spirit to our starting location and then by marching, singing, playing or dancing along … with the band.”

Attendance is free, and all are invited. No RSVP is required, but organizers would appreciate a courtesy email with the subject line “Second Line Swing” to

During “second line” parades, the general public is encouraged to join behind the main characters in a second line. They began in New Orleans, a mixture of African, Mardi Gras and U.S. Military traditions. They are common at African-American rituals, such as funerals and weddings.

The Armstrong House is the logical last stop for Friday’s fun as Satchmo grew up in New Orleans, but lived the last few decades of his life in Corona, when he wasn’t on the road, performing jazz.

Make Music Winter, which launched in 2011, will host 15 parades across streets, parks, plazas, and other public spaces on Dec. 21. The five-borough effort is overseen by Make Music New York, a nonprofit that also organizes an annual Summer Solstice festival on June 21.

Please stay in Queens and enjoy the Corona program, but here are some other Make Music Winter options.

  • Flatfoot Flatbush: Dancers, fiddlers and pickers parade down Flatbush Avenue, playing Old Thyme tunes and flat footing, a form of percussive dance from Appalachia. The crew departs from 354 Flatbush Ave. in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn, at sunset or 4:32 p.m.
  • Melrose Parranda: The Bronx Music Heritage Center holds this Puerto Rican parranda, which involves playing plena music, singing certain carols popular in La Isla del Encanto, and visiting different community centers. The group leaves from El Coquí Community Garden, 414 E. 163rd St., Melrose, at 6 p.m.
  • Characters of the Dance: Baroque flute music during which costumed models gesture with early ballet steps representing different characters. The fun takes places at Sara Delano Roosevelt Park, Lower East Side, Manhattan, starting at noon.
  • Solstice Soul Train: Starting at 4 p.m., musicians circulate on 125th Street sidewalks between Fifth and Lexington avenues, Manhattan, making stops along the way.
  • Radiant Revelry: HONK NYC, which organizes street concerts, leads a pop-up parade, switching bands, instruments, transportation methods and vibes along the way. At 6:30 p.m., the ensemble leaves the Staten Island Ferry Terminal Bar in Manhattan and heads via ferry to Staten Island’s St. George neighborhood.

Top photo: Jamie Emmerman for Hohner USA; gallery photos (l-to-r): Clara Inés Schuhmacher, Corey Witmer, and Drew Garfinkle


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