New York City is getting a brand new parade.
Mayor Eric Adams this week announced the first annual Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Parade, set for this Sunday May 15th.
The new parade will join the ranks of the city’s annual Thanksgiving Day Parade and others to snake around Midtown streets with fanfare — part of a push to highlight the city’s Asian community amid a sustained uptick in race-based violence since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“As we work to combat a spike in hate crimes, it is important to support and uplift our AAPI brothers and sisters,” Adams said announcing the new procession.
Hate crimes against Asian American New Yorkers were down so far during the first quarter of this year, dropping to 17 compared to 38 during the same time period last year, according to NYPD data. But the decline followed a year during which Asian-Americans were targeted for violence in New York — up to 131 attacks, from 28 the year prior.
Support for Adams among Asian-American New Yorkers faltered as hate crimes against them soared last year. The mayor recently walked back plans for two safe haven shelters planned for Chinatown amid fierce community protests, and in the wake of several high profile attacks by homeless New Yorkers.
John Park, with the Korean American Community Empowerment Council, said he’d often admired the marchers in the Puerto Rican Day Parade, the St. Patrick’s Day Parade, and the Columbus Day Parade and was eager to participate in one that would honor his own heritage.
“I never dreamed I would one day lead Korean New Yorkers down sixth avenue for the first Asian Pacific American Heritage Parade,” he said in a statement.
The parade kicks off Sunday morning on Sixth Avenue and West 44th Street at 10:45 a.m. and heads north for ten blocks on Sixth.