It’s that time of year – holiday events galore, and one Harlem community organization has put together a range of multi-denominational events for the whole family. Harlem Park to Park (HP2P), a central Harlem merchants association that supports local businesses and the overall community has announced a roster of activities that will begin next week and last throughout the month to help New Yorkers celebrate the season.

-       Tuesday, December 13, kicks off the festivities with HP2P’s Children’s Caroling Program and Kick-Off Event in partnership with Marcus Garvey Park Alliance’s Annual Multi-Faith Holiday event. The evening will begin with the children’s caroling program, followed by a presentation about the meaning of Christmas by Bethel Gospel Assembly and the holiday tree lighting ceremony. The Hanukkah presentation and lighting of the menorah follows, as well as a Kwanzaa presentation by the children of the Pelham Fritz after school program and lighting of the kinara. There will also be an Islamic presentation, a dance performance by children in the dance ministry at Bethel Gospel Assembly and free refreshments provided by numerous HP2P businesses including: Red Rooster, Sylvia’s, Melba’s, Chocolat, Chez Lucienne, and 5 and Diamond. Decorations provided by Harlem Flo and Franz James Floral Boutique.

The event will run from 6:00pm to 8:30pm at the Pelham Fritz Recreation Center located at 122nd Street and Mount Morris Park West in Marcus Garvey Park.   Other partners include MMPCIA, Friends of Morningside Park and Kidberry Children’s Music and Education Center.

-       HP2P will also be hosting a Holiday Window Display Competition from Monday, December 12 through Friday, December 23. The competition will include a contest between the holiday storefront windows of the numerous HP2P businesses, as well as a contest between residential homeowners of the Mt. Morris Park community and the Morningside Park community. The competition will include two categories: Most Original and Most Festive. Voting will be conducted through HP2P’s Facebook until 5:00pm on Friday, December 23. Online voters will be entered in raffle for prizes from HP2P businesses. Winners will be announced on Saturday, December 24.

 -       HP2P’s Annual Holiday Coat & Toy Drive will be held from Monday, December 12 through Friday, December 23 in partnership with the 125th Street BID. During this period, HP2P and BID members will be asked to collect unused coats and toys from customers shopping/dining at their businesses which will be donated to the Harlem Dowling-West Side Center (HDWC) which serves and assists children and their families in crisis and distress. Donated coats and toys will be collected on Friday, December 23 and delivered to HDWC offices at 2090 Adam Clayton Powell Jr., Blvd.

-       The final program on HP2P’s holiday calendar is the Holiday Shopping & Dining Program with The Abyssinian Fund, which will last from Sunday, December 18 through January 31. Throughout this period, HP2P businesses will donate 10% of all proceeds generated from sales to Abyssinian members to The Abyssinian Fund, which supports 800 coffee farmers in Ethiopia.

We hope you get the chance to participate in all of these terrific holiday events provided by HP2P! For more information, please visit the organization’s website or Facebook page.

What are you doing to celebrate the season?