From tamales to coquito, sorrel to sweet potato pie: The Harlem Night Market at La Marqueta is back for the 2021 holiday season, to celebrate the diversity of cultures that make up East, Central and West Harlem.
Launched to great success two years ago, the market was suspended last season due to the pandemic, but is back in action this December thanks to creators Uptown Grand Central, TBo Harlem, Union Settlement and NYC Public Markets (operated by the NYC Economic Development Corporation).
This year’s Harlem Night Market will take place on the last shopping weekend before Christmas (Friday, December 17, 5-9 p.m., Saturday, December 18, 4-9 p.m., Sunday, December 19, 3-8 p.m.). To accommodate a greater number of vendors, the night market will expand to cover three lots of the La Marqueta complex (under the Metro-North tracks along Park Avenue, from 115th to 117th streets).
“All of Uptown and the Bronx remembers that their aunties and grandmas went to La Marqueta to do their shopping,” said Carey King, director of Uptown Grand Central. “The Harlem Night Market is about bringing the next generation of shoppers and vendors back to this historic complex that is the heartbeat for small business and culture in the neighborhood.”
“The return of the holiday night market at La Placita is exactly the cultural and economic programming needed at this time,” said Councilmember Diana Ayala (District 8). “A combination of rich history and small business support is crucial as we focus our efforts in coming back from this pandemic stronger than before. I look forward to celebrating this festive event in my community and I especially thank the NYC Economic Development Corporation, Uptown Grand Central, Union Settlement and Community Board 11 for their hard work and commitment.”
“We are so excited about the return of the Harlem Night Market as an important symbol of New York City’s continuing recovery and vitality, and heartened that it will be expanding this year to include more vendors on the last shopping weekend before Christmas,” said NYC EDC President and CEO Rachel Loeb. “We thank our partners at Uptown Grand Central, TBo Harlem, and Union Settlement for all their work to bring back this great event, and we are also grateful to Councilmember Ayala and Community Boards 9, 10 and 11 for their support.”
“It’s so great to finally be able to bring this market back to La Marqueta again for the holiday season,” said Tony Rahsaan, the founder of TBo Harlem (The Best of Harlem) and the Harlem Night Market. “Not only are we back, but we’ve expanded the market to include more family-friendly activities, as well as more options for our vegan patrons.”
La Marqueta Retail Market Building: Vendor Stalls. The market building between 114th and 115th streets is one of the oldest in the complex, having stood the test of time after other buildings were burned decades ago by fire. During the night market, all vendors stalls will come alive with food, drinks and craft vendors. (Lot 4, 115th-116th Streets)
La Placita Event Space: Food & Makers, Music Mainstage & Live Graffiti Art. The recently renovated La Placita features glass walls, twinkling holiday lights, exhibition spaces, and updated restroom facilities. The renovation was made possible with support from former City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito — who provided funding for the renovation — and Councilmember Diana Ayala. During the night market, La Placita will be home to both food and craft vendors, featuring on the mainstage afternoon performances including Los Pleneros de la 21 and the Sing Harlem Gospel Choir. Once darkness falls, the sounds will be turned up with D.J.s Ted Smooth and Stormin’ Norman on the ones and twos. Graffiti artists will be on hand creating live art. (Lot 5, 115th-116th Streets)
Urban Garden Center: Family Space & Christmas Trees. Across 116th Street from La Placita, Urban Garden Center will be home to the Family Space, nestled in-between the pine scent of holiday wreaths and garlands. A smaller, more family-oriented selection of vendors will be on hand at this lot, along with cultural activities by El Museo del Barrio that celebrate Christmas parrandas and Los Tres Reyes (The Three Kings). (Lot 6, 116th-117th Streets)
The Harlem Night Market at La Marqueta is FREE to the public. Registration is on Eventbrite. Proof of vaccination and ID are required to enter. Face coverings must be worn at all times.
Dates / times:
Friday, December 17, 5-9 p.m.
Saturday, December 18, 4-9 p.m.
Sunday, December 19, 3-8 p.m.
The historic La Marqueta in East Harlem, under the Metro-North tracks along Park Avenue from 115th-117th streets.