Mark those calendars for Sunday, August 10th for East Harlem Giglio Festival 2014, which celebrates a beloved tradition in what used to be the largest Italian neighborhood in the states. The weekend-long festival culminates with an afternoon fete over at Pleasant Avenue from East 114th to East 116th Street with a crowd of men lifting a religious tower that was constructed in the previous days. Each tower is different every year and this feet of strength was started in Italy centuries ago and is in honor of a town's patron saint. A population of 100,000 Italians once lived in East Harlem for decades before the demographics changed to El Barrio in the latter half of the 20th century and the immigrant families brought the Giglio Festival to the east side. A group of relatives who have history uptown return to the old neighborhood on this weekend in August to celebrate the cultural past of East Harlem which used to be called uptown's Little Italy until the 1960s when there was a mass exodus to the suburbs.
This family-friendly event also features food and a block party before the main lifting ceremony. Check out the full list of activities on the official website along with contact information: www.EastHarlemGiglio.com.