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Photograph: Filip Wolak

The first ever annual Asian American parade is happening in NY this weekend

The festival kicks off along Sixth Avenue this Sunday.

Anna Rahmanan
Written by
Anna Rahmanan

Just one day after New York's first-ever Japanese heritage parade takes place this Saturday, the inaugural Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Cultural and Heritage Parade will kick off on Sixth Avenue and West 44th Street at 10:45am. Expect participants to proudly march north to West 55th Street on Sunday.

"Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month celebrates New Yorkers who contribute to the rich culture that makes New York the greatest city in the world," Mayor Eric Adams said earlier this week in an official announcement about the to-be annual happening. "As we work to combat a spike in hate crimes, it is important to support and uplift our AAPI brothers and sisters."

As mentioned by the politician during his announcement, the festival launches as attacks against Asian Americans have dramatically increased throughout the past two years. According to official New York Police Department statistics, anti-Asian incidents in 2021 alone increased by a whopping 343%.

"In these pandemic times and with Anti-Asian intolerance, division, and hatred on the rise, it is so important for all of us to come together to celebrate our collective humanity—in a rare historic parade—as it is about time that we march together with each other to show our solidarity," said Wellington Z. Chen, the executive director of the Chinatown BID/Partnership, in an official statement. 

Considering the number of specifically targeted parades that the town hosts each year, the celebration has been a long time coming.

"When I first came to New York City, working as a peddler in Manhattan, I remember being amazed at the Puerto Rican Day Parade, the St. Patrick’s Day Parade, and the Columbus Day Parade," said John Park, founder of the Korean American Community Empowerment Council, in an official statement. "I never dreamed I would one day lead Korean New Yorkers down Sixth Avenue for the first Asian Pacific American Heritage Parade." 

In New York, dreams clearly always do come true!

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