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New York’s Mayor De Blasio and President Bill Clinton joined restaurateurs Marcus Samuelsson (Red Rooster) and Tren’ness Wood-Black (Sylvia’s) to announce a new food festival coming to Harlem in May of 2015. “Harlem EatUp!” is a new three-day festival in Harlem, NY celebrating food, culture, and spirit of Harlem.

“Today is a big day for us,” Samuelsson told the crowd gathered in the downstairs lounge of his restaurant The Red Rooster. “We feel like this is such an exciting time to live in Harlem and this food festival will have art, food, music and celebrate the great people of Harlem.”

Signature events will include a dine out dinner series, culinary demonstrations, panel discussion and a Sunday afternoon block party.

“This is the place where thousands of people come to NY to see what our culture is all about and we’re so excited that we now have this platform and our festival to showcase the best of the best,” added Tren’ness Wood-Black, granddaughter of Sylvia Woods who founded the famous eatery that bears her name.

“This festival is about food but it’s also about the culture of Harlem,” said Clinton, who opened an office in Harlem after he left office. “Thousands of people will come here and hear music they would not have heard, hear poetry they would not have heard, go to  museums they would not have visited. They will see our famous churches that they’ve only heard about. This is a way of lifting this whole neighborhood that will have permanent benefits economically for the people who live here and be very good for the way we feel about ourselves and the way other people see this whole endeavor.”

“Because he has to stay in touch with his roots he needs as much Southern cuisine as he can get,” Mayor De Blasio quipped of The President.  “It really epitomizes why the HarlemEatUp! Festival matters…Harlem has meant so much to the people of this city. It is globally famous for good reason and continues to get strong and vibrant in so many ways.”

Karl Franz Williams, owner of Harlem bar 67 Orange and founding member of Harlem Park to Park feels that is a good thing for Harlem and New York.

“This makes me really excited,” he told TheUrbanDaily.com. “My bar has been here since 2008 and my first restaurant was here in 2005. I’ve seen a lot happen in the neighborhood and I’m very proud today. Very excited.”

For more information on the festival go to HarlemEatUp.com.

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