African American Day Parade

African American Day Parade NYC

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Hotels in Harlem

African American Day Parade Summary

Event Overview: Held each year in Harlem, the African American Day Parade features live music, costumed bands, dance troupes, and dignitaries. The parade is intended to salute black colleges, discourage racism and racial profiling, and showcase positive African-American achievements, black dignitaries and celebrities, and organizations reflecting African culture.

What to Expect: In 2009, an estimated 900,000 people attended the African American Day Parade, making it the single largest black parade in the United States. Expect crowds.

  • Floats: Like most popular parades in New York City, the African American Day Parade features floats and live music. Among the styles of music performed are soca, reggae, ragga, and soul. 
  • Celebrities and Dignitaries: In its 42-year history, the African American Day Parade has honored many notable African Americans, including Denzel Washington, Congressman Adam Clayton Powell, Jr., Mayor David Dinkins, Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm, Johnnie Cochran, Spike Lee, Queen Mother Moore, Paul Winfield, and Reverend Al Sharpton.

Inside Knowledge: The first African American Day Parade NYC was held in Harlem in 1969, with Congressman Adam Clayton Powell, Jr., acting as Grand Marshal. The parade's founders chose to hold the parade in Harlem because of its large representation of African people. The parade has been held in Harlem ever since.

Event Hints:

  • Wear Comfortable Shoes: Because you'll likely be spending several hours on your feet, be sure to wear comfortable shoes to the African American Harlem Day Parade. Sneakers are usually best.
  • Bring Water and a Snack: Food is not available at the African American Day Parade, so we recommend bringing bottled water and a light snack. It's important to stay hydrated, especially when you're spending a lot of time beneath the sun.
  • Protect Your Wallet: It is an unfortunate fact that large crowds draw pickpockets. Because Seventh Avenue, the site of the African American Day Parade, is packed with people, we recommend putting your wallet in your front pocket, just to be safe.

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*Some images shown above are not actual photos from the venue, but category representations. Visit the hotel's web site for actual photos.

African American Day Parade


General Location


Event Date

Sep 15,2013

Event Cost


Live Music, Costumed Bands, and Dance Troupes at the African American Day Parade

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Event Quick Facts

  • The Harlem Day Parade begins at 111th Street and Adam Clayton Powell Blvd. and ends at 142nd Street.
  • The Harlem Day Parade begins at 1pm on September 18.
  • The Harlem Parade was founded in 1969.



Nearest Transit:
125th St (4, 5, 6); 125th St (2, 3)

NYCTourist Travel Info
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