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Percy Sutton Harlem 5K
Photograph: Courtesy Harlem Week

The five best events at Harlem Week 2018

Celebrate the very best Harlem has to offer at one of these festive events taking place as part of Harlem Week 2018

By Alison Kotch and Jennifer Picht
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FYI: Harlem Week 2018 lasts a tad longer than seven days. In fact, you get to celebrate the neighborhood and its culture for a good chunk of summer. Starting July 29 until August 25, head to the history-rich ’hood to enjoy specials at some of the best Harlem restaurants, attend outdoor parties at one of the area’s best parks, see live summer concerts and more. More than two million people from NYC and around the world attend these Harlem Week events, and trust us, you’ll want to be one of them! 

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to Harlem, New York

Best events at Harlem Week 2018

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Photograph: Shutterstock

1. A Great Day in Harlem

Things to do

The alfresco, all-day bash kicks off Harlem Week with a wide range of festivities at General Grant National Memorial in Riverside Park. Pack your own picnic or purchase grub from on-site food vendors, then watch Uptown Dance Academy and other hoofers perform. Jazz, Latin and gospel groups provide live music to end the night on various high—and soulful—notes.

Amateur Night At The Apollo Finals
Photograph: Courtesy Shahar Azran/WireImage

2. Amateur Night at the Apollo

Things to do Performances

This talent-packed event is one of the top highlights of Harlem Week (Aug 15), featuring aspiring singers, musicians, rappers, dancers and spoken word artists doing their best to convince audiences to make them Apollo legends. Your cheers (or boos) will decide who receives the night’s biggest honor—Top Dog—along with a cash prize of $20,000. Consider this your chance to see legends in the making before they become household names.

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Photograph: Courtesy Harlem Week

3. Summer in the City

Things to do

This outdoor event draws more than 60,000 visitors each year to 135th Street, and no wonder: In addition to live R&B, rock and hip hop, there are vendors and activities for all ages. Kids will enjoy storytelling, double-dutch, face painting and lots of other family-friendly activities. Seniors can swim and take advantage of pool-friendly exercise demonstrations; college-bound attendees can network at the Higher Education Fair & Expo; aspiring designers can draw inspiration from the Fashion Flava Show, which showcases work by designers of color. 

Photograph: Courtesy Harlem Week

4. Upper Manhattan Auto Show

Things to do

Fans of collectible and vintage cars can check out plenty of drool-worthy models on August 19. In recent year’s, the event featured more than 35 vehicles from the NYC region and beyond. After watching the auto parade through the historical center of Harlem, stick around for the awards ceremony to see which ones are considered the best in eight specially selected categories. 

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Photograph: Courtesy Harlem Week

5. Percy Sutton Harlem 5K

Things to do

Run (or walk) through the streets of Harlem at this NYRR-sponsored event, which honors the late Manhattan borough president Percy Sutton. Runners looking to fulfill their NYC-marathon qualifier races can do so by registering for this race. 

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