Go out and bring in the New Year! YEAR OF THE DRAGON EVENTS AROUND THE COUNTRY

Posted by Suzanne Kai


THE YEAR OF THE DRAGON

begins January 23, 2012 with observances that continue 15 days.

The Dragon is considered by many to be the most auspicous year
in the twelve year cycle of the Chinese zodiac.

Go out and bring in the new year!

Read author and Feng Shui expert Angi Ma Wong's predictions here. 

Here are just a sample of the many events celebrating the Year of the Dragon around the country, from the San Francisco Bay Area to Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Beverly Hills, Monterey Park, CA, New York City, Flushing, Queens, Vancouver, Portland, Oregon, Richmond, British Columbia, Toronto, Washington DC, Milpitas, Fremont, Palo Alto, Campbell, San Jose, Foster City, Redwood City, Saratoga, Cupertino, Newark, CA, San Bruno, and beyond! 

(Compiled from news sources around the country. Please confirm all dates, times and locations independently if you plan to attend any of these events.
Dragon photo by Lia Chang.)

SAN FRANCISCO:

Jan 14-15: San Francisco Flower Market Fair and Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony 

The Chinese New Year Flower Fair is held on the weekend before Chinese New Year Day. The Flower Fair is the place to come to purchase fresh flowers, fruits, candy and other new supplies for the home to begin the new year. At the main stage on Washington Street below Grant, the Mayor will join honored guests in officially opening the Festival with a ribbon cutting ceremony. (Estimated time for ribbon cutting ceremony 10:45 a.m.)  

Jan. 29: Free San Francisco Zoo Admission for Dragons: The San Francisco Zoo will present Chinese acrobatic performances, traditional Lion and folk dancing, Chinese yo-yo tricks and more family friendly entertainment from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Admission is regular-priced but guests born in the Year of the Dragon, including 1916, 1928, 1940, 1952, 1964, 1976, 1988, 2000, and 2012, can get in for free.

Feb. 4: Miss Chinatown USA Pageant This annual pageant is a treasured tradition for Chinese Americans. Young women of Chinese descent from across the country compete for prizes and scholarships at the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco, beginning at 7:30 p.m. The winner and runners-up will serve as goodwill ambassadors for the Chinese community throughout the U.S. Tickets are $35-65 each. Contact the Palace of Fine Arts to purchase tickets. 

Feb. 5: Year of the Dragon Celebration: Students from the Chinese American International School will perform Chinese classical music, Chinese ethnic minority dances and a lion dance at the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco. Attendees will hear New Year stories and make dragon crafts. Admission is free courtesy of Target. The event is from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. http://www.asianart.org/family.htm

Feb. 10: Miss Chinatown USA Coronation Ball  - Harrah's Miss Chinatown U.S.A. Coronation Ball San Francisco Hilton & Towers, 333 O'Farrell Street, San Francisco, (415) 982-3000, Tickets: $120 The newly selected Miss Chinatown USA and her court will be crowned at the annual Harrah's Coronation Ball. The black tie dinner/dance, attended by many community leaders, promises to be a highlight of the Lunar New Year festivities. Tickets ($120) are available at:

Chinese Chamber of Commerce 730 Sacramento Street ,San Francisco, CA (415) 982-3000.

Feb. 11: A major highlight of the Chinese New Year is the Southwest Airlines Chinese New Year Parade on February 11 co-hosted by rock journalist Ben Fong-Torres, former senior editor of Rolling Stone Magazine and our very own AsianConnections.com columnist.  http://www.chineseparade.com/

Sponsored by Southwest Airlines, the San Francisco tradition started right after the Gold Rush. 100 units will participate this year, including a 250-foot Golden Dragon carried by a team of more than 100 men and women throughout the streets of San Francisco. The parade, starting at 6 p.m., will be broadcast on KTVU Fox 2 and KTSF Channel 26. 

Feb. 11:  San Francisco Symphany Reception & Concert: View the video of this event from a previous event. The SFS Chinese New Year Concert features a fusion of music from the East and the West. It starts at 4 p.m, but ticket holders can arrive at 3 p.m. for a festival reception in the lobbies of the Davies Symphony Hall, where there will be caricature artists, fortune tellers, face painters, balloon artists, Chinese calligraphers, airbrush artists, stilt-walkers, contortionists, Chinese plate spinners, and an arts & crafts station. Tickets are $15 to $68. For tickets, click here. For Imperial Dinner packages that include premium concert seating, call 415-503-5500. http://community.sfsymphony.org/video/sf-symphonys-chinese-new-year

Feb. 11-12: Chinatown Community Street Fair: Enjoy calligraphy, kite-making demonstrations, and a stage with acrobatics, folk dancing, lion dancing and other traditional Chinese New Year entertainment. It all takes place in Chinatown, San Francisco, on Grant Avenue, from California to Broadway; and on Pacific Avenue, Washington and Jackson, from Kearny to Stockton, on Feb. 11, 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; Feb. 12, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. http://www.chineseparade.com/parade_events.asp?pEvent=community_fair

Feb. 19 Chinese Chamber of Commerce Presents Chinatown YMCA 10K/5K/WALK (YMCASF.org/Chinatown)

RACE DAY
Course: 5K and 10K races start at 8:00AM on Grant Avenue/Sacramento Street and finish on Kearny/California Street. The course has some short hills but is mostly flat.
Parking: Portsmouth Square Garage (Kearny St. @ Clay St.) and Sutter Stockton Garage (333 Sutter St. @ Stockton St.)
Post Race: Join us at Portsmouth Square for post-event awards, refreshments, and fun for the family!
Awards: Top finishers in each category (male and female for youth and adult) will receive special awards from our generous sponsors. Prizes will be awarded to the Best Dressed Dragon!

Please note that the Bay Bridge will be closed on Race day, Sunday, 2/19/12. On that day, BART will start running around 1:00 am every hour until 8:00 am but only at 14 stations. Normal Sunday operation will start at 6 am. Please view the BART website for more information. The closest BART station to the Race out of the abbreviated 14 stations will be the Embarcadero station. 

RACE REGISTRATION
Online: Register online here by 2/16/12

Mail: Postmarked by 1/30/11 to Chinatown YMCA, Chinese New Year Run, 855 Sacramento Street, San Francisco, CA 94108.
Fax: Send by 2/15/12 to 415.982.0117. Enclose SASE to receive bib number and race information.
In-Person: Before Race Day; please submit your registration form and payment the our Membership staff on the 1st Floor.
Race Day: In person, starting at 7:00AM at the Chinatown YMCA, 855 Sacramento Street, San Francisco, CA 94108.  


BAY AREA (N. CALIFORNIA): 
 

CAMPBELL

Jan. 21:  Church Dinner in CampbellWest Valley Christian Alliance Church will host a Lunar New Year celebration on site from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Performances are free, but dinner is $5 per person or $10 per family. Speeches will all be in Cantonese. For dinner tickets, call 408-244-9225.

MILPITAS

Jan. 21:  Chinese Youth Orchestra Performance: The Milpitas Public Library welcomes back the Firebird Youth Chinese Orchestra (FYCO) for another free concert. The orchestra, composed of young musicians playing traditional Chinese instruments, is a local Bay Area treasure. FYCO's mission is to promote Chinese music as an integral part of Chinese American culture, strengthening the Chinese community and enhancing the diversity and richness of American culture. This concert is free and begins at 2 p.m.

PALO ALTO

Jan. 21: Children's Chinese New Year Lantern Event: Nature Gallery, 87 Town & Country Village, Palo Alto 94301, 2-4pm  

Nature Gallery invites your children to join us for a Chinese Lunar New Year Lantern event with your children. This is owner, Carol Garsten's last family event in Palo Alto, and it coincides with the Chinese Year of the Dragon, officially commencing a few days later. The lantern celebration is a children's favorite tradition held on the first full moon, and we will have red paper lanterns for our young guests. New mayor, Yiaway Yeh, the first Chinese-American mayor of Palo Alto, will be on hand to meet your children as they mark ther wishes on their lanterns for an auspicious 2012. There will be a game and prizes, and photos taken. Organizers will supply the lanterns and cards for the wishes, or you may bring your own.

SAN JOSE

Jan. 21-22: Vietnamese Tet Festival in San Jose: Vietnamese Americans call Lunar New Year "Tet Festival." San Jose's 30th Tet Festival will take place at Santa Clara County Fairgrounds with a wide variety of activities including lion dances, crafts, fashion shows and photography as well as food booths. Tickets are $12 per adult, $8 per child and $10 for parking. For ticket information, click here.

Jan. 28-29: Crafts & Shows at Children's Discovery Museum of San JoseChildren can watch cultural performances and receive hands-on lessons on traditional Chinese crafts for the weekend, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday.

Feb. 4: Spring Festival Silicon Valley: The Chinese Performing Arts of America will present a musical, Legend of the Dragon, as well as dances, magic and martial arts at the San Jose Center for the Performing Arts, starting 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $25, $38, $50 and $100 with 40 percent discount for seniors and children. Call 408-973-8276 for tickets.

MILPITAS

Jan. 22: Lion Dance Performance: Enjoy a live performance by the Far East Dragon Lion Dancers in celebration of the new year in the Seasons Marketplace at Landes shopping center in Milpitas. The performance is free and begins at 1 p.m.

FOSTER CITY

Jan. 22 Free Street Fair in Foster City: The Foster City Parks and Recreation Department will transform the William E. Walker Recreation Center into a traditional Chinese street fair, with musical, acrobatic and lion dance performances,  tea ceremony, martial arts, calligraphy, brush painting, storytelling, and Chinese-opera-style face painting from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The 12 Chinese zodiac animal characters will be there to greet children.

NEWARK, CA

Jan. 22  Cultural Activities at NewPark Mall in its Center Court, in Newark: From noon to 3 p.m., shoppers can watch folk dance performances. There will also be hands-on craft lessons for families to make red lanterns and dragons.

SAN BRUNO

Jan. 23: Bilingual Storytime in San Bruno: To kick off the Year of the Dragon, San Bruno Public Library will offer storytelling in English and Chinese from 6:30 to 8 p.m. with crafts and snacks around.

FREMONT

Jan. 24-Feb. 3: Lantern Riddles in Fremont: It is a Chinese tradition to hang riddles down from lanterns for people to solve on the 15th day of Lunar New Year, but Centerville Library in Fremont will display lantern riddles in English and Chinese for 11 days, starting the second day of the upcoming lunar year. Participants will receive a prize for every riddle they solve while each being allowed to solve up to two riddles per day. For inquiries, call Chien-Chun Chang at 510-795-2629 or emailcchang@aclibrary.org" style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; border-top-width: 0px; border-right-width: 0px; border-bottom-width: 0px; border-left-width: 0px; border-style: initial; border-color: initial; font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; font-size: 14px; font-family: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; text-decoration: none; color: rgb(0, 68, 170); cursor: pointer; ">cchang@aclibrary.org.

LOS ALTOS

Jan. 28: Los Altos Library Dragon Dance: Starting 11 a.m., students from Fremont Taiwan School will lead a dance originally from indigenous tribes in Taiwan. There will also be demonstrations on how to make a dragon boat and a dragon lantern.

MILPITAS

Jan. 28: Penmanship Contest in Milpitas: Milpitas Community Chinese School which normally holds Saturday classes will have no classes Jan. 28 for a penmanship contest, during which students compete in calligraphy as part of the school's Chinese New Year's celebration.

MOUNTAIN VIEW

Feb. 4: Auction & Luncheon in Mountain View: Yew Chung International School Silicon Valley will celebrate Lunar New Year and its own 10th anniversary at I.F.E.S. Social Hall from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Besides student performances of Chinese songs and dances, Firebird Youth Chinese Orchestra will be there to play traditional Chinese instrumental music. Tickets are $5 to $50 depending on age. For detailed information, click here.

REDWOOD CITY

Feb. 4: Free Cultural Performances in Redwood City: There will be lion dancers, Red Panda Acrobats, martial arts, Chinese zodiac crafts, East Asian instrumental music, at the Courthouse Square from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. For program schedule, click here. 

SARATOGA

Feb. 4: Chinese Calligraphy Demonstration at Saratoga Library: Saratoga resident Zhongyang Lu, whose work is currently on exhibit at the Saratoga Library, will demonstrate the five styles of Chinese Calligraphy, starting 2 p.m. The talk will be in Mandarin with English translation.

CUPERTINO

Feb. 4:  El Camino Youth Symphony's Lunar New Year Concert in Cupertino: El Camino Youth Symphony will perform works of Chinese composers such as Spring Festival Overture and Yellow River Piano Concerto at the Flint Center of Performing Arts. Zhiyin Choir, a Bay Area Chinese choir, will join the symphony to present Chinese songs. The show starts at 7:30 p.m. but will let audience members in at 6 p.m. for pre-show cultural demonstrations including how to write Chinese New Year's couplets, how to do Chinese brush paintings, and how to use chopsticks. Tickets are $25 each.

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA:

BEVERLY HILLS:

Jan. 20: Beverly Hills plans a celebration on Rodeo Drive on Jan. 20, 6 p.m.-9 p.m., with performances including a lion dance and drum corps. Retailers and restaurants will be offering deals and themed specials, and the first 1,000 people to check in at the Beverly Hills Conference and Visitors Bureau table that evening on the 400 block of Rodeo Drive near the Lladro boutique will receive a "good fortune" envelope with offers from local businesses. Details at http://www.lovebeverlyhills.com/dragon.

LOS ANGELES: 

Jan. 28: In Los Angeles, the Golden Dragon Parade is scheduled for Jan. 28 at 1 p.m. along North Broadway in Chinatown, http://www.lagoldendragonparade.com/ . For something different, try L.A.'s "Great Chinatown Hunt," Jan. 29 at 11 a.m., $35 to participate in this search for clues in alleyways, temples, shops and courtyards; ttp://www.racela.com/schedule.html. The Chinese American Museum of Los Angeles is hosting a lantern festival March 3. Just east of downtown Los Angeles, in Monterey Park, a Chinese New Year festival is scheduled for Jan. 28-29, 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m.

MONTEREY PARK, CALIFORNIA:

Jan. 28-29: A Chinese New Year festival is scheduled for Jan. 28-29, 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m. 

GARDEN GROVE, CALIFORNIA:

Jan. 27-29 and
Feb. 4-7:

 

The Tết Festival
Friday February 4th – Sunday February 7th, Garden Grove Park

9301 Westminster Ave.
Garden Grove, CA 92844
Free shuttle buses from drop off zones at Westminster Civic Center & La Quinta Highschool
www.latetfest.net  The Tết Festival of Southern California is recognized as the world’s largest festival of its kind outside of Vietnam. Check it out on Saturday when it’s in full swing and visit booths that feature a vibrant array of traditional foods or watch the talent showcases and fireworks. Two stages feature entertainment including the Miss Vietnam of Southern California pageant, one of the festivals most well attended events. The Union of Vietnamese Student Associations (UVSA) has been the host of the Festival for more than 30 years and 50 percent of the profits from it are given back to the community. Festival tickets are for $5 for adults and $4 for kids (under 4-ft tall).

 

Sponsored by the Union of Vietnamese Student Associations of Southern Ca.
The Tet Festival in Garden Grove is celebrating its 30th year in 2012. Festivities include dragon dancers, pageants, entertainment, rides, food and cultural booths.

 

 

When: January 27-29, 2012, Fri 3-10 pm, Sat 10 am - 10 pm, Sun 10 am - 9 pm
Where: Garden Grove Park, 9301 Westminster Blvd, Garden Grove, CA, 92844
Cost: $5 adults, $4 children 48" and under, babies and toddlers Free.
Parking: at the park

 

 

PORTLAND, OREGON: 

 

Jan. 23-Feb 6: The Year of the Dragon will be marked by lion and dragon dances, martial arts demos, feng shui talks, performances and other events, at the Lan Su Chinese Garden.

 

LAS VEGAS: 

 

SCHEDULE COMPILED FROM SOURCES INCLUDING THE LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL AND CAESARS PALACE 
Please re-confirm all dates, times and events if you plan to attend any of these events.

 

JAN 22Celine Dion, resident headliner at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace will host a private, traditional ceremony to welcome the Year of the Dragon at the new Octavius Tower at Caesars Palace. AsianConnections.com will post images of the event. Dion will dot the eyes of the dragon to symbolically awaken, bringing good fortune to the New Year ahead. A customary lion dance to ward off evil spirits will precede the events. 

 

Jan 23: A ceremonial dragon dance complete with firecrackers and eye-painting ceremony will begin at 1 p.m. in the porte cochere at The Venetian. A parade of dancers and musicians will move through Palazzo. There also are seasonal decorations throughout both resorts, including a 128-foot, 8,000-pound, fire-breathing dragon suspended above Palazzo's waterfall and atrium gardens.

 

Jan 24: There will be lion dances at 1 p.m. at Aria, 1:30 p.m. at Crystals (with kung fu artists and Chinese performers) and 4 p.m. at The Mirage, plus displays at Crystals, including a 43-foot-long, 12-foot-high ceremonial dragon chasing a pearl, symbolizing the pursuit of wisdom.

 

The opening ceremonies of the celebration in downtown Las Vegas will be at 6 p.m. with a dragon dance performed by Lohan School of Shaolin with virtual firecrackers on the canopy, plus an eye-painting ceremony, parade and 888 people (for good luck) participating in a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

 

Jan 25: There will be lion dances at 1 p.m. at MGM Grand and 6:30 p.m. at Bellagio, plus displays at Bellagio's Conservatory & Botanical Gardens, including two animated 25-foot dragons wrapped around a cylinder of water and a 21,000-gallon pond with more than 200 koi, which can be viewed through March 4. Live musical performances will take place from 5 to 6 p.m. daily in the conservatory.

 

Jan. 27: There will be lion dances at 5 p.m. at Harrah's Las Vegas, 6:15 p.m. at the Imperial Palace, 7 p.m. at the Flamingo Las Vegas and 10 p.m. at the Rio.

 

Jan. 28: There will be lion dances at noon at Planet Hollywood, 1 p.m. at Paris Las Vegas, 2 p.m. at Bally's and 5 p.m. at Caesars Palace.

 

Jan. 27 and 28: At 8 p.m., the Wakin Chau: Diva Live concert at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace will take place. For tickets ($48 to $188 plus fees), go to the box office or www.Ticketmaster.com, or call (800) 745-3000.

 

Jan. 29: A celebration from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., with live entertainment from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., will take place at Chinatown Plaza, 4255 Spring Mountain Road. Entertainment will include lion and dragon dances; Chinese folk dance, martial arts and acrobats; Japanese dance and Taiko drums; and Polynesian, Vietnamese and Korean dance. Chinese arts and crafts, a calligrapher and fortuneteller, and retail vendors also will be on site. Admission is $3 for adults, $1 for children ages 6-12 and free for children 5 and younger.

 

Feb. 1: A lion dance will parade through the casino at the Gold Coast at 7:30 and 10 p.m. The procession will make several stops in the casino to pull ceremonial lettuce from the ceiling and toss the leaves to spectators.

WASHINGTON DC:

Jan. 29: In Washington D.C., the Textile Museum opens an exhibit called "Dragons, Nagas, and Creatures of the Deep," Feb. 3 through early 2013. The exhibition presents objects that portray dragons from all over the world, including the ancient Mediterranean, imperial China and contemporary South America. (A naga is a mythological being, half-human, half-serpent.) Also in Washington, a parade and festival are scheduled in Chinatown for Jan. 29, 2 p.m.-5 p.m. From noon to 5 p.m., a Chinatown Lunar New Year Festival takes place at the Chinatown Community Cultural Center, 616 H St.

NEW YORK CITY:

Jan. 29: The Lunar New Year Parade & Festival takes place Jan. 29 in Manhattan's Chinatown, 11:30 a.m.- 4 p.m. The event winds through parts of Lower Manhattan, including Little Italy, the Lower East Side and Mott and Canal streets in the heart of Chinatown; details on the route at http://betterchinatown.com/LUNAR-NEW-YEAR-PARADE.php.

FLUSHING, QUEENS:

Feb. 4: A Parade is scheduled for Feb. 4 kicking off at 11 a.m. Other holiday events include a Lunar New Year "Dance Sampler" with performers from Asia, Feb. 4, 2 p.m. at Flushing Town Hall, 137-35 Northern Blvd.

VANCOUVER:

Jan 29: A Chinese New Year Parade starting at noon at Millennium Gate on Pender Street with a cultural fair. 
http://www.cbavancouver.ca/parade.html. 

The neighboring city of Richmond, which is 65 percent Asian and easily reachable by train from Vancouver, is also a center of new year activities, including special menus at some of the 200-plus Asian eateries on Alexandra Road, along with performances, demonstrations and other events at the city's three large Hong Kong-inspired malls. Richmond's International Buddhist Temple also hosts new year events, including a flower bazaar Jan. 18-Jan. 23 and a chant and group prayer 10 p.m. to midnight Jan. 22, http://www.buddhisttemple.ca/.

NATIONAL TOURING EVENTS:

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey's circus is honoring the Chinese New Year with a new show called "Dragons" that premiered Jan. 4 for a 90-city tour.

(Sources from news sources around the country. Please confirm all dates, times and locations independently if you plan to attend any of these events.)