One of Harlem’s most anticipated events returns for its 9th year. Harlem Harvest Festival, a signature program of Harlem Park to Park, celebrates the harvest season with an impressive sampling of some of Harlem’s top local vendors. The neighborhood has experienced an explosion of new, locally produced high-quality products, some of which can be found in stores like Whole Foods Market, Bloomingdale’s, Fairway, Fresh Direct, Columbia University Dining and more.
The festival, which began 9 years ago as a means of bringing artisanal products not easily found in the neighborhood into a family-friendly and accessible atmosphere, has evolved into the premier platform for Harlem’s rapidly growing vendor community to showcase their goods and services to New Yorkers and beyond. Credited in large part to Harlem Park to Park’s Harlem Local Vendor Program (HLVP), an accelerator program in partnership with several community stakeholders including Columbia University Business School, Hot Bread Kitchen, Harlem Community Development Corporation and West Harlem Development Corporation, Harlem has experienced a growth of new artisanal products that is quickly making the neighborhood an important and significant entrepreneurial hub.
“We created the Harvest Festival to address a deficiency in the accessibility of healthy, artisanal, locally produced food and beverage options, as well as to support our local businesses by providing a platform for them to reach a larger clientele…”
“We created the Harvest Festival to address a deficiency in the accessibility of healthy, artisanal, locally produced food and beverage options, as well as to support our local businesses by providing a platform for them to reach a larger clientele. Initially, most of our artisanal vendors were not from the community, but from upstate. To see the event reach a point where the festival is now completely made up of locally Harlem produced products is an amazing community accomplishment that we are all so proud to share with our neighbors and visitors,” said Harlem Park to Park Executive Director, Nikoa Evans-Hendricks.
Festival goers can expect to try delicious bites and find amazing food, clothing and lifestyle products for purchase, in addition to enjoying an interactive kids zone complete with face painting, cooking demos, pumpkin decorating station and live entertainment throughout the day. In addition, local bakers are invited to enter the Harvest Bake Off, with prizes for best cake, pie, cookie and brownie – a very popular activity that has helped launch local brands like Chatman J. Cakes, currently sold in local eatery Harlem Shake. In addition, new vendors will have an opportunity to meet with buyers during the festival – a unique feature of the Harlem Harvest Festival that continues to promote and produce growth opportunities for the neighborhoods many vendors.
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