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Major Seasonal Events

HARLEM WEEK

Tracing the evolution of HARLEM WEEK, now thirty five years old (1974), is very simple— it began as HARLEM DAY, a one-day tribute that was so astonishingly and unexpectedly successful that more days were needed to showcase the community’s rich economic, political and cultural history, to say nothing of the current, ever increasing artistic talent in Harlem. Above all, HARLEM DAY—in its unique way—was a day of encouragement and fellowship for New Yorkers in general and Harlemites in particular, many of whom had struggled for some years to see a positive future for Urban America. 

Each year HARLEM WEEK produces new activities highlighting many positive and relevant aspects of the African-American, Latino, Caribbean-American, and European-American cultures of Harlem. In fact, in the same way that Black History Month is celebrated for more than four weeks, HARLEM WEEK is more than a week, with many key events celebrated quite joyously throughout all of August and beyond. And thanks to the unforgettable appearance of President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe at HARLEM WEEK, and the appearance of Nelson Mandela soon after his historic election to the Presidency of South Africa, HARLEM WEEK has gone on to acquire international cachet.

HARLEM WEEK has become one of America’s largest cultural celebrations. Each year, we attract millions of individuals to Harlem, the world’s most famous neighborhood to share our traditions, new trends, and that incomparable joie de vivre, which is nothing more than Harlem style.

A Great Day In HarlemA Great Day In Harlem A 4 - Part special HARLEM WEEK Event
Featuring International exhibitors & vendors, cultural and gospel performances, an outdoor fashion show, live concert & more!

Part I:
12 Noon – 4:00 PM
“Family Unity Day” (It’s A Family Reunion) Arts and Cultural Festival
Live entertainment featuring a variety of cultural performances, Broadway and Off-Broadway excerpts, and artistic expressions. Free to the general public

Part II: 4:00 PM – 5:00 PM The New York Gospel Caravan Explosion Featuring renowned gospel choirs.
Free to the general public

Part III: 5:00 PM – 6:00 PM The Urban “Fashion Fusion” Cutting-edge urban designers, models, and talent from throughout the region take to the runway displaying a unique and exciting variety of hot urban fashions.
Free to the general public

Part IV:
6:00 PM to 9:00 PM A “Concert Under the Stars” Top performers present an unforgettable evening of salutes to Music legends.
Uptown Saturday Nite “Uptown Saturday Nite,” a fusion of arts, culture, and entertainment, provides the ultimate outdoor Harlem experience for the entire family. Annually hundreds of thousands of attendees shop, mingle, and dance along Harlem’s West 135th Street corridor east from Malcolm X Blvd. to St. Nicholas Avenue West. The event features an assortment of vendors and exhibitors displaying and selling exotic foods, visual arts, crafts, artifacts, and custom clothing. A variety of exciting demonstrations, stage productions and promotional giveaways keeps the busy streets energized, and these events are punctuated by live performances that feature headlining national acts, plus local and emerging talent. “Uptown Saturday Nite” continues to offer sponsors creative sampling and exhibition opportunities to reach the hundreds of thousands of individuals who attend annually.
Uptown Saturday Nite“Uptown Saturday Nite,” a fusion of arts, culture, and entertainment, provides the ultimate outdoor Harlem experience for the entire family. Annually hundreds of thousands of attendees shop, mingle, and dance along Harlem’s West 135th Street corridor east from Malcolm X Blvd. to St. Nicholas Avenue west. The event features an assortment of vendors and exhibitors displaying and selling exotic foods, visual arts, crafts, artifacts, and custom clothing. A variety of exciting demonstrations, stage productions and promotional giveaways keeps the busy streets energized, and these events are punctuated by live performances that feature headlining national acts, plus local and emerging talent. “Uptown Saturday Nite” continues to offer sponsors creative sampling and exhibition opportunities to reach the hundreds of thousands of individuals who attend annually.
HARLEM DAYHARLEM DAY, which began, in 1974 as just that— as a one-day event, is now widely known as HARLEM WEEK and the Harlem Jazz & Music Festival. This year celebrating its 35th anniversary, HARLEM DAY, which stretches east to west across West 135th Street for a 1/2 mile from Fifth Avenue to St. Nicholas Avenue provides live continuous entertainment from a variety of stages; The NYC Children’s Festival, The Upper Manhattan Auto Show, The NYC Health Fair & Expo, The HARLEM WEEK Jr. Tennis Classic Championship; special worship services at numerous churches, as well as a fashion showcase with a focus on back-to- school wear for children and teens and includes over 500 exhibitors and vendors offering just about everything imaginable.
African American Day ParadeAfrican American Day Parade The first African American Day Parade was held in September 1969 in Harlem. The first Grand Marshal was Congressman Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. The parade route started at 111th Street and Seventh Avenue and terminated at 142nd Street. Harlem was selected as the site for the parade due to its large representation of African people and it is the Black capital of America.

The purpose of the parade is to provide an opportunity for African people to join together on a Special Day to highlight our history and salute African people throughout America and the world for their outstanding achievements. The parade promotes unity, dignity and pride. The parade extends a special arena for organizations, dignitaries, celebrities, community leaders and bands to showcase positive accomplishments for the motivation of African people to achieve higher goals.

Some of the past Grand Marshals included Denzel Washington, Congressman Adam Clayton Powell, Jr., Mayor David Dinkins, Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm, Johnnie Cochran, Spike Lee, Queen Mother Moore, Ossie Davis, Ruby Dee, Paul Winfield, Melba Moore and many others. Many musical celebrities have also participated in the parade.

The parade is classified as a National parade with representatives, organizations and bands from 12 states. It has the largest cross-section of Black organizations in America. Over 900,000 viewers attended the parade in 2007.

Harlem Summerstage

 

The Harlem SummerStage has a sixteen year history of presenting all forms of art and culture,while preserving the long history and traditions of Harlem's rich and renowned past and future. Some of the artists who have appeared at Harlem Summerstage include Patti LaBelle, The O'Jays, Hezekiah Walker, The Mighty Sparrow, Dance Theater of Harlem and many others.

The Harlem SummerStage Concert Series has established itself as one of the premiere cultural events in New York City.