The 51st Annual African American Day Parade (AADP) is set for Sunday, Sept. 20. This year’s event is going virtual due to COVID-19, according to organizers.
The live event will begin at 12 p.m. ET on YouTube, Facebook Live and at www.africanamericandayparade.org. The program will feature performances by Grammy Award-winning DJ Scratch and Vine Love from WETV’s reality series “Growing Up Hip Hop NY.”
This year’s parade theme is “A Tribute to Black Business” honoring individuals and organizations that have made key contributions to the African American community through business.
Grand marshals for this year’s event include Elbert Shamsid-Deen, President and CEO of Thruway Builders, Inc. and Thruway Insurance Brokers, Cheryl McKissack Daniel, President and CEO of McKissack & McKissack, fashion designer Dapper Dan and Micheal Garner, Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer for the MTA.
In a statement, AADP chairman Yusuf Hasan said the decision about holding this year’s parade virtual was made based on the impact COVID-19 is having on the Black community, particularly the elderly.
“We feel that hosting this year’s parade virtually is the best course of action we can take to ensure the safety of all participants, viewing audience, and staff,” Hasan said. “We greatly treasure the annual African American Day Parade and hope to return to our in-person celebration in 2021.”
Founded in 1968, the AADP brings out thousands of spectators to Harlem as the parade marches down Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Boulevard. Hundreds of groups participate in the parade including marching bands, civil rights organizations, fraternities, sororities, unions, youth groups and city officials.