Embracing Community Spirit: Second Annual East Harlem for the Holiday Campaign Kicks Off, Inspiring Local Shopping, Dining, and Delivering an Economic Boost to the Local Economy

East Harlem, NY – It is with great pleasure that we announce the commencement of our second annual East Harlem for the Holiday campaign. This initiative is a collaborative effort among East Harlem Stakeholders (Union Settlement, Deputy Speaker Diana Ayala, Uptown Grand Central, El Museo Del Barrio, Museum of the City of New York, El Barrio ArtSpace, Caribbean Cultural Center, La Marqueta, the Holiday Tree Committee, and Community Board 11) who are dedicated to fostering a sense of community by cross-promoting, collaborating, and bringing together the unique offerings of our small businesses and local arts and culture institutions. We are excited to unveil a series of events throughout the holiday season that will make it easy and convenient for residents and visitors to discover fun activities and the best places to shop and dine. 

Date: December 1, 2023 – January 6, 2024 

Location: East Harlem, NYC  

Highlights of the Season:  

  • Press Conference and Kickoff: Join us December 1, 2023, 11:00 AM at La Fonda (169 E. 106th Street) or an official kickoff celebration with light refreshments.  
  • Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony: December 1, 2023, at 6:30 PM, in front of Ponce Bank on the corner of 106th Street and Third Avenue for the annual East Harlem Tree Lighting ceremony.  
  • Ice Skating Rink: December 1, 2023, at 7:00 PM. A section of White Playground Park on 106th Street between Lexington and Third Avenue will be transformed into an ice-skating rink.  
  • Trolley Rides: Explore Harlem Night Market sites with a free trolley looping from the Harlem Night Market to Urban Garden Center. 
  • Harlem Night Market: Three unforgettable nights of Music, Food, Makers, Culture and Community at the historic La Marqueta 12/2, 12/9, 12/16 from 4:00 PM to 8:00 PM. 
  • El Museo’s 47th Annual Three Kings Day Parade and Celebration: This year’s theme, entitled ‘Spoken Word: The Power of Oral Tradition,’ celebrates the importance and significance of unwritten stories, fables, and traditions. 
  • And Much More!  

“East Harlem for the Holidays is an opportunity for our community to come together, celebrate our diversity, and share in the joy of the season,” said Dr. Williams, Chief Executive Officer, Union Settlement. “We invite everyone to join us for a festive and inclusive event that embodies the spirit of East Harlem.” 

“I am excited by the collaboration among local organizations, stakeholders, and businesses, uniting to bring forth these exceptional holiday festivities. The collective effort reflects the vibrant spirit of East Harlem. We are eager to extend a warm welcome to residents and visitors from across the New York City area, inviting them to immerse themselves in the rich tapestry of East Harlem’s diverse cultural celebrations” said Deputy Speaker Diana Ayala

“I am thrilled by the collaborative efforts of these dedicated stakeholders. This partnership not only honors and celebrates the uniqueness of who we are as a community but also serves as a catalyst for boosting our local economy,” said Michelle Cruz, Director of Economic Development & Government Affairs, Union Settlement

“El Museo del Barrio is thrilled to once again join the festivities this holiday season, culminating with our 47th Annual Three Kings Day Parade on January 5th,” said Chelsey Pellot, Government and Community Affairs Manager. “This year’s theme, ‘Spoken Word: The Power of Oral Tradition,’ celebrates the importance and significance of unwritten stories, fables, and traditions, giving space to those who have and continue to share stories and uphold traditions in our communities.” 

“This market has become an annual staple for the East Harlem community, and we are elated to be back for the holidays with more vendors participating this season than ever before. We have an incredible line-up of makers, artists, and food vendors this year, in addition to family friendly activities at the Urban Garden Center, so we encourage everyone to come out for a great night of food, fun and local shopping,” said Tony Rahsaan, Harlem Night Market. 


Union Settlement is an on-the-ground resource for East Harlem residents of all ages and a passionate advocate for the needs of underserved communities. Since opening our doors in 1895, we have brought education, wellness, and community-building programs to our neighborhood, empowering New Yorkers with opportunities to better their lives. Employing over 450 staff, our services impact 10,000 people in our community every year. By helping our neighbors realize their goals, we build the vitality and success of East Harlem. Visit www.unionsettlement.org to learn more. 

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