Our friends at The Two Bridges Neighborhood Council will be hosting the second annual “Marco Polo Day” on Saturday. The occasion is a celebration of the co-existence of two communities, Chinatown & Little Italy, which was inagurated last year after the creation of the Chinatown Little Italy Historic District. This year’s festivities will include marionette puppet displays from the NYC Village Halloween Parade, Superior Concept Monsters, and musical performances by ALFIO, Chinese Fremasons, The New York Chinese Opera Society and more. Grand Street, between Mott & Mulberry Streets, we be closed off for special events, which begin at noon.
Beginning with a Marco Polo Day display of distinctive marionette puppets from the official puppeteers of the NYC Village Halloween Parade, Superior Concept Monsters, and moving into special musical performances and presentations on Grand Street, the 2010 celebration has hopes to enhance the awareness of the Historical District amongst New Yorkers and tourists, while also creating appreciation for the history of these two societies which have maintained their identities together for centuries.
“The Chinatown Little Italy Historic District is an important part of the Lower East Side. As a community member, I am proud to promote both cultures in efforts to maintain their heritage and the history of the area,” says Victor Papa, president of Two Bridges Neighborhood Council. “Marco Polo Day symbolizes the importance of the district and will help bring people into the community for years to come.”
The official district, recognized by the State and National Registers of Historical Districts as of September 2009, encompasses the physical boundaries of Chinatown and Little Italy and signifies the presence and long relationship of these two immigrant communities. Marco Polo Day was created in 2009 as a direct result of the designation to celebrate and honor the cultures, architecture, institutions and restaurants of each society.
Recognized by Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer as an official day each year, Marco Polo Day brings together families and friends for an exciting, entertaining day of music, festivities and food from both the Italian and Chinese community.
This year’s festivities are scheduled to kick-off the second annual Marco Polo Day at noon on October 16th. The new addition to the celebration is a display of marionette puppets, symbolizing Marco Polo Day and both cultures. Twenty-five local children will handle the puppets as they present the visual display on Grand Street. The festivities will continue on a special stage, also on Grand Street, where Chinese and Italian musical performances will further entertain guests.