This fall, Two Bridges Neighborhood Council will host the 7th Annual Marco Polo Festival, celebrating the Chinatown & Little Italy Historic District, and the special relationship between the Chinese and Italian American Communities of two of Manhattan’s most iconic neighborhoods.
This year’s festivities begin with a breathtaking pageant through the streets of Chinatown & Little Italy. Large-scale marionettes of Marco Polo and Kublai Khan, and a monumental hand-painted 50’ long, silk banner depicting the “Silk Road”, are paraded through the streets by local youth, accompanied by cultural musicians and others. (Click here to see map of the procession route)
Upon the arrival of the pageant procession at the Grand Street Stage, a unique mixture of music and cultural performances commences. Programming includes traditional Chinese & Italian Opera, folk dances, contemporary Chinese & Italian instrumental performances, acrobatics and more!
7th Annual Marco Polo Festival Performers
The Red Mike Festival Band
Mary Mandolin Trio
Students from P.S. 105 Brooklyn
New York Chinese Opera Society
Since 2009, the annual Marco Polo Festival, produced by Two Bridges Neighborhood Council, symbolically celebrates the special relationship between the Chinese & Italian-American communities of Manhattan’s Chinatown & Little Italy. The festival invokes the story of the Silk Road, where the ancient markets of Europe and Asia met, marking a new beginning of world commerce and cultural exchange.
In 2010, Two Bridges sponsored the designation of the Chinatown & Little Italy Historic District, New York City’s only National Register Historic District that recognizes two unique cultural communities. This single district, encompassing the historic cores of both Little Italy and Chinatown, acknowledges the long and ongoing relationship of these two vibrant and dynamic immigrant neighborhoods.
Now its seventh year, the multi-day Marco Polo Festival serves as the preeminent New York City occasion to celebrate the rich heritage of Asian & Italian history and culture.