UPPER EAST SIDE, Manhattan (PIX11) — The Museum Mile Festival took over Fifth Avenue in Manhattan Tuesday evening, with museum doors wide open and music and artists in the streets, giving people access to world-renowned cultural institutions for free. 

“The color, the vibrancy, the diversity,” said Harlem resident Amanda Alappat. “It’s like such a quintessential New York moment.”

It was a family night out for Amanda and Sebastian Alappat and their two young kids who came to take in the sights and sounds of the Museum Mile Festival, which was back in person for the first time in three years.

“To be able to walk down the street with no cars and have just like a block party kind of thing, especially after the last few years, it is amazing,” Sebastian Alappat said.

The festival has been going on since the 70s and is designed to bring the community together through art and culture. It was forced to take a virtual turn for the last two years.

“This event mixes performances, art tours, free admission, lots of ways to kind of bring you in the door and encourage you and let you know this is the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the museum for the metropolitan area. It’s your museum,” said Heidi Holder, the chair of education at the Met.

Eight museums joined together for the yearly event, including the Met and the Guggenheim.

The Museum Mile Festival is part of a larger, brand new collaboration this summer called the Festival of New York. Three hundred organizations are putting on events through Labor Day. Find more information on the Festival of New York website.