Things to do in New York City this weekend

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A New York Police helicopter circles over Liberty Island where the Statue of Liberty was evacuated with officers responding to a report of a suspicious package seen from Jersey City, N.J., Friday, April 24, 2015. Visitors are posting photos online showing hundreds of people being herded toward a ferry landing. Tourists say they were taken off boats while trying to leave nearby Ellis Island. Those vessels then were used to evacuate Liberty Island. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

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    New York Jewish Film Festival: The 26th annual New York Jewish Film Festival runs from Jan. 11-24. The festival teams with the Jewish Museum and Film Society of Lincoln Center to bring narrative and documentary films from around the globe that dive into the Jewish experience. The festival includes films and shorts, including a tribute to actress and cabaret artist Valeska Gert, a screening of “The Producers” by Mel Brooks and a poster exhibit that honors Gene Wilder and Zero Mostel. Tickets are $14 for general admission, $11 for seniors and students and $9 for Film Society and Jewish Museum Members. Visit nyjff.org to see the lineup of films.

    Golden Fest: On Jan. 13 and 14, The Zlatne Uste Golden Festival celebrates Balkan music and dance. This is the only music and dance festival of its kind in New York. The 32nd annual festival is hosted by the Zlatne Uste Brass Band and includes four stages with dozens of bands performing live. Come for the music and stay for the Balkan and Middle Eastern refreshments, art vendors and textiles on display. The event takes place at The Grand Prospect Hall in Brooklyn. On Friday, doors open at 7 p.m. and bands perform from 7:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. On Saturday, doors open at 5:30 p.m. Tickets include complimentary Balkan and Middle Eastern Snacks. There is a cash bar. Proceeds are donated to Balkan educational and relief organizations. Tickets start at $35. Visit goldenfest.org for more information.

    Vogue Knitting Live: The ultimate knitting event lands in NYC from Jan. 13-15 at the New York Marriott Marquis. The weekend includes dozens of classes for beginners to advanced knitters and even for children. Most classes are 2-3 hours long and attendees typically have to bring their own supplies. Also included are lectures, a cocktail reception and gala. Tickets start at $35. Visit www.vogueknittinglive.com/newyork/20380 to see a listing of the lectures and classes, and to register.

    9th Annual Cassoulet Cookoff: On Jan. 15 from 1-4 p.m., head to Jimmy’s No. 43 for the 9th Annual Cassoulet Cookoff. The event is hosted by the Chefs’ Consortium, which helps to source local ingredients for chefs. Amateur and professional chefs are invited. The $25 ticket ($20 in advance), gets you admission to the cookoff with unlimited cassoulet, a stew made with meat and beans, samples from over 10 chefs. A portion of the proceeds benefits Brooklyn Rescue Mission, a food pantry and community garden located in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn. Visit jimmysno43.com/events/9th-annual-cassoulet-cookoff/ to learn more.

    Martin Luther King Jr Celebrations: On Jan. 15 and 16, enjoy a variety of celebrations honoring Martin Luther King Jr. The Apollo Theater hosts a free panel discussion about King’s legacy at 3 p.m. Jan. 15. The Dance Theatre of Harlem performs a dance in honor of King at the Kupferberg Center in Queens at 4 p.m. On Jan. 16 at 10:30 a.m., BAM Howard Gilman Opera House at the Brooklyn Academy of Music hosts a Brooklyn Tribute to King, including a choir performance and keynote speaker. The event is free. At 12:30 p.m., the Harlem Gospel Choir performs a joyous show at B.B. King Blues Club. Discount tickets are $15. Food minimum required at tables.

    A New York Police helicopter circles over Liberty Island where the Statue of Liberty was evacuated with officers responding to a report of a suspicious package seen from Jersey City, N.J., Friday, April 24, 2015. Visitors are posting photos online showing hundreds of people being herded toward a ferry landing. Tourists say they were taken off boats while trying to leave nearby Ellis Island. Those vessels then were used to evacuate Liberty Island. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
    http://theweekender.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/web1_liberty-1.jpgA New York Police helicopter circles over Liberty Island where the Statue of Liberty was evacuated with officers responding to a report of a suspicious package seen from Jersey City, N.J., Friday, April 24, 2015. Visitors are posting photos online showing hundreds of people being herded toward a ferry landing. Tourists say they were taken off boats while trying to leave nearby Ellis Island. Those vessels then were used to evacuate Liberty Island. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)