Lifestyle company Thrillist is celebrating the post-pandemic return to large gatherings and outdoor festivities with the launch of a new experience called “Thrillist Block Party.” Multiple cities across the U.S. have been chosen for people to come together and enjoy themselves with food, entertainment, and live performances as a toast to fellowship and connectedness. And on Sunday, September 12, the maiden “Thrillist Block Party” kicks off in the original Black mecca: Harlem.
Tren’ness Woods-Black, Harlem’s Queen of Hospitality and the granddaughter of Sylvia Woods (founder of the landmark restaurant Sylvia’s), has been tapped as ambassador and exec producer of ceremonies. “Our communities are the unbreakable thread that stitches neighborhoods together,” she said in a statement announcing the event. “Block parties were created to celebrate that unique cultural essence, while giving a platform for local businesses and residents alike to thrive.”
Expect to see plenty of entertainment, food trucks from Thrillist’s favorite local eateries, roller skating, gospel open mic, and more. There will also be an open-air marketplace called “Shop Harlem Made,” where attendees can buy goods from some of the neighborhood’s Black businesses. “As we kick off Sylvia’s road to 60 years,” said Woods-Black, “‘Thrillist Block Party’ in Harlem will do just that, as the inaugural stop for this ultimate community party with a purpose.”
However, Thrillist also partnered with Woods-Black to bring her web program “Cornbread & Conversations” to TV as a series “inspired by the epic dinner parties she has thrown throughout the years at Sylvia’s.” Viewers will be treated to a mix of sit-downs with politicians, celebrities, activists, and other luminaries frequenting surprise restaurants along with eclectic musical acts, and finally capping off dinner with a surprise performance.
“As we emerge from isolation due to the pandemic, we believe it’s more important than ever to reignite and support incredible local neighborhoods while bringing people together for a joyful celebration that we’ve all been missing out on for so long,” said Meghan Kirsch, Thrillist’s Chief Content Officer. “There is no neighborhood more vibrant, full of culture and built on community than Harlem, and no individual more emblematic of Harlem than Tren’ness. We are so excited to collaborate with her to bring the beauty of Harlem and celebrate its finest through her authentic point-of-view.”