Harlem Lights Parade offers opportunity to spread joy, celebrate community

Fifteen floats glided through Harlem to kick off the holiday season. The floats passed hot spots like the Apollo Theatre, historic churches and Marcus Garvey Park. 

Ashley Mastronardi

Nov 15, 2023, 5:49 PM

Updated 187 days ago

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The Harlem Lights Parade kicked off in Harlem last night, and locals came out in a big way to celebrate their community.
“I like how bright they are and how they light up New York City,” Husaina Taheraly, who is 9, told News 12 New York of the lights.
Fifteen floats glided through Harlem to kick off the holiday season. The floats passed hot spots like the Apollo Theatre, historic churches and Marcus Garvey Park.  The event has been organized by the 125th Street Business Improvement District for the past 30 years.  Barbara Askins is the president.
“We are telling everybody, let’s come together, let’s celebrate and let’s take care of each other,” Askins said.  “So the holiday lighting season really sets the tone for us moving into the holidays.”
And that it did.  The floats were joy spreaders - causing locals to break out in their best dance moves as the fleet rolled through.  New York City Youth Poet Laureate and grand marshal Stephanie Pacheco says it’s important for Harlem to unite.
“Harlem and a lot of the neighborhoods in uptown New York City have notoriously gone through so much,” she said.  “So having moments like this is a reminder to be joyful and band together in community and use that as resistance.”
Besides the lights that hover above 125th Street, the celebration also featured interactive singing trees. Most of the lights will stay up through the end of the holiday season.


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