Fifth Avenue is gearing up for the holiday season!
The Fifth Avenue Association has officially announced “Fifth Avenue For All,” a new program where Fifth Avenue will be closed to all vehicular traffic for the first time ever this holiday season. These days without cars will take place along Fifth Avenue between 49th and 57th Streets on Dec. 4, 11 and 18 from 12 to 6 p.m.
“Fifth Avenue For All” aims to bring a joyful celebration of holiday cheer on New York’s most iconic Avenue. Each Sunday there will be a performance by Brooklyn United (12:30 pm-1:30 pm) and Manhattan Samba (3:30 pm-4:30 pm), plus Brooklyn High School of the Arts on Dec. 4 and Kaufman Music Center Dec. 11 from 2-2:30 p.m.
Fifth Avenue is one of a handful of areas in Midtown that will experience these closures. New York City Mayor Eric Adams today unveiled the city’s largest-ever holiday season-specific Open Street program on Nov. 22, opening 11 blocks to pedestrians during December.
“Every year, people come from across the world to New York City, and to Midtown Manhattan specifically, during the holiday season. This year, we are going to make that experience safer and more enjoyable for all New Yorkers and visitors with more access to Open Streets,” said Mayor Adams. “This is the kind of bold, creative thinking that we need to ensure the city’s comeback is strong, equitable, and inclusive. And to all those coming in from out of town, I have only two messages: Happy holidays and spend money.”
Starting Nov. 30 through mid-January, streets surrounding Rockefeller Center and Radio City Music Hall at West 49th Street and West 50th Street, between Fifth Avenue and Sixth Avenue, will only be open to pedestrians during the most congested hours, between 11 a.m. and 12 a.m. midnight every day, using movable barriers to partially or fully close streets to cars and alleviate foot traffic along sidewalks. Also started this day, Sixth Avenue between 48th Street and 52nd Street will reallocate one lane of traffic for additional pedestrian space.
The NYPD will monitor the areas at all times and adjust the barriers if needed during times of unusual pedestrian activity or extreme weather. MTA crosstown buses will be re-routed during pedestrian-only hours.
As a part of the plan, the Adams administration is launching two marketing campaigns encouraging New Yorkers and visitors to shop at local small businesses this holiday season. The Shop Your City campaign, run by the New York City Department of Small Business Services, is a marketing and social media initiative that encourages New Yorkers and visitors to support small businesses on Small Business Saturday, November 26. The New York City Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment also launched a marketing campaign called “It’s Time for New York: Bookstores,” promoting local bookstores this holiday season. To support the campaign, New Yorkers can use the hashtag #NYCLovesBookstores on social media.
Both of these campaigns will invest almost $200,000 into supporting local businesses during the holiday season.
“New York City streets are one of the most valuable public assets, critical to restarting our city’s economic engine,” said Deputy Mayor for Operations Meera Joshi. “Transforming iconic Fifth Avenue into a pedestrian paradise during this holiday season shows that, once again, New York City is leading the country with bold initiatives that reimage and activate our public spaces.”
“Time and again, we’ve seen that Open Streets and holiday events drive foot traffic, increase economic activity, attract tourism, and contribute to safer, more exciting, and more prosperous commercial corridors,” said Deputy Mayor Maria Torres-Springer. “Transforming Fifth Avenue into a car-free Open Street this holiday season will be a boon for local businesses and is yet another example of how government can work with communities to transform streets for people.”