The annual Marco Polo Festival celebrates the Chinese and Italian-American immigrant communities of Little Italy and Chinatown. It is the preeminent New York City occasion to celebrate the rich heritage of Asian and Italian history and culture. In recognition of these dynamic communities, and to celebrate the official Chinatown & Little Italy National Register Historic District designation, New York’s Chinese and Italian communities came together in October 2009 to celebrate the first annual Marco Polo Day, now the Marco Polo Festival.
8th Annual Marco Polo Festival
October 15, 2016
On Saturday, October 15th from 11:00AM – 3:00PM, Two Bridges Neighborhood Council will host the 8th Annual Marco Polo Festival, celebrating the Chinatown & Little Italy Historic District, and the special relationship between the Chinese and Italian American communities of Manhattan’s Chinatown & Little Italy. Now in its eighth year, the Marco Polo Festival serves as the preeminent New York City occasion to celebrate the rich heritage of Asian & Italian history and culture.
Each year the Marco Polo Festival brings together families and friends for an exciting, entertaining week of music, festivities and food from both the Italian and Chinese community. The festival invokes the story of the Silk Road, and interprets the story of the encounter between the famed Venetian merchant-traveler, Marco Polo (1254-1324), and the innovative Mongolian ruler Kublai Khan (1215- 1294), as a parallel of the historic encounter and lived experiences of the Chinese & Italian immigrants on Mott and Mulberry Streets during America’s most important period of immigrant history.
To illuminate the common heritage and shared future of two of New York City’s most iconic immigrant communities, Two Bridges Neighborhood Council spearheaded the successful nomination of the Chinatown & Little Italy Historic District to the State and National Register of Historic Places in 2009. To date, the district remains New York City’s only National Register Historic District that recognizes two unique cultural communities.