"Harlem Holiday Lights" 2011

On November 21st, 2011, the 125th Street Business Improvement District kicked off the Harlem holiday season with a celebration of Joyous Sounds and Lights.

Hundreds of people gathered on the plaza of the Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. State Office Building at 125th Street and 7th Avenue for incredible performances, refreshments and music.

We enjoyed performances by Vy Higginsen and the Gospel for Teens Choir, Impact Repertory Theater, and Kala Hawker. Special thanks to Vy Higginsen and Harlem Arts Alliance for providing such fantastic shows!

                                                                  Gospel for Teens Choir

                Impact Repertory Theater                                                               Kala Hawker

Willie Walker of the Office of General Services delivered Opening Remarks and welcomed everyone to the Harlem State Office Building. Blondel Pinnock, Chair of the 125th Street BID, welcomed the audience to the celebration.
                          Willie Walker                                                          Blondel Pinnock
                         Manager, OGS                                                       Chair, 125th Street BID

We would like to thank the elected officials who came out to celebrate with us, NYC Comptroller John Liu and District Attorney Cyrus Vance, as well as our Honorary Committee: Congressman Charles Rangel, Assemblyman Keith Wright, and Councilmembers Robert Jackson, Inez Dickens, and Melissa Mark-Viverito.
                          John Liu                                                                 Cyrus Vance
                   NYC Comptroller                                                   Manhattan District Attorney

Among us was Ralph McDaniels, founder of Video Music Box, who filmed the event while giving attendees an opportunity to give a special shout out on his show from Harlem, NYC.

After the performances on the plaza, we moved to the corner of 125th Street and ACP Jr. Blvd, where two double decker tour buses were waiting.
From left to right: George Faison (Faison Firehouse Theater); Cheryl Wills (NY1 News Anchorwoman); Barbara Askins (President & CEO, 125th Street BID)

From the top of a bus, Cheryl Wills, NY1 News Anchorwoman, led the community in a countdown to the lighting of the street. The two buses then followed the lights East and West as, Block by Block, 125th Street was illuminated.

As they drove down the street, the buses passed several groups of carolers from local Churches, staged by Harlem's own Tony-winning George Faison. It was truly magnificent!

The ceremony and lights were alot of fun and a great success! Don't miss next year's event, which promises to be even better! Keep in touch for opportunities to get involved.
We would like to thank the sponsors of the "Harlem Holiday Lights" 2011 initiative; this incredible display of Joyous Sounds and Lights would not have been possible without your support. We also greatly appreciated the contributions of Starbucks, Tonnie's Minis, and Red Rooster Harlem, who provided warm beverages and snacks to attendees.
We would also like to recongize the "Harlem Holiday Lights" 2011 committee members, who assisted with the planning, implementation, and coordination of the program: John Herrold; Zhen Heinmann; Shellie Williams; Geoffrey Eaton; Jamillah Richards; Laura Johnson-Avanessian; 125th Street BID Vibrant 125 Committee; Corey Ortega; Lauren Quinones; Diane Coliler; Michael Unthank; Regina Smith; Nikoa Evans; Brad Taylor; Yonnette Douglas
Happy Holidays, Harlem!