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Free Celebration of the Chinese New Year in Los Angeles’ Chinatown – Feb 2-13

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Lots of FREE Events for the LA Chinatown New Year Celebration from Feb 2-13! The New Year marks the most important time of year throughout most of Asia and this tradition of ringing in the New Year is also celebrated in the U.S. with lots of fanfare and celebration. There’s no better place to experience this unique time of year than in Los Angeles’ Chinatown District. Begin the celebration with a midnight ceremony to usher in the New Year at Thien Hau Temple on Feb. 2, 2011. The celebration gets into full swing the weekend of Feb. 5th & 6th with the 112th Annual Golden Dragon Parade on Saturday, followed by the Lunar New Year Festival, entertainment and cultural activities at Central and West Plazas and the LA Craft Experience artist market on Saturday and Sunday. “The Great Chinatown Hunt” with RaceLA rounds out the weekend on Sunday. Enjoy spectacular floats and bands parading down Broadway, watch some of the best acts outside of Cirque du Soleil perform on the main stage, sample from LA’s best gourmet food trucks and take in one or several cultural workshops. Don’t forget to come back to Chinatown the following weekend, Feb. 12 & 13, for the annual Firecracker 5K/10K Run/Walk. These events are free and open to all ages. For more information visit www.chinatownla.com or call 213-680-0243.
The festival begins with a Midnight Ceremony to usher in the New Year at Thien Hau Temple on Feb. 2, 2011 from 11 p.m. to 1 a.m. The temple is located at 750 Yale Street, Los Angeles, 90012. Thousands will gather to make offerings to the deities, set off firecrackers to awaken the spirits, and burn incense to usher in good fortune for the New Year. Participants include lion dancers, Buddhist and Taoist monks, the heads of family associations, and many others from the Southern California Chinese community.    The festivities kick into full swing the weekend of Feb. 5th & 6th, 2011. On Saturday, Feb. 5th from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. the 112th Annual Golden Dragon Parade returns with colorful splendor as over 100 floats, marching bands, performers, dignitaries in cars, and costumed organizations with Chinatown roots parade through Chinatown. The parade can be viewed from both Broadway and Hills streets.

The entire weekend of Feb. 5th & 6th offers attendees a chance to participate in plenty of activities, do some shopping and eat to their hearts content. Central Plaza in Chinatown will host some of the best performers outside of Cirque du Soleil—from acrobats, lion dancers, contortionists to performance troupes never seen before in Southern California. Also in Central Plaza is the LA Craft Experience market which showcases over 40 unique vendors from Los Angeles selling original art, fashion, gifts, toys, collectibles, home accessories and much more. West Plaza will offer cultural workshops suitable for adults and children of all age groups as well as a Ping Pong Tourney for casual and avid players. A prize schedule determines giveaways for Ping Pong tournament participants. Artisans will be stationed at both plazas for face painting by Tai Ling Wong, dough sculpture demonstrations by Chris Lee and as well as others.

Attendees should prepare to eat their hearts out during the weekend-long event. Most Chinatown restaurants and merchants will be open that weekend and are serving up favorite Chinese delicacies. Some of Los Angeles’ favorite gourmet food trucks will also be in attendance to serve unique food truck cuisine.

On Sunday, Feb. 6th, “The Great Chinatown Hunt”, organized by Race/LA returns. Teams of 2 to 4 players will have a total of three hours to solve a series of clues leading them around Chinatown. To register or for more info, visit www.racela.com or call (310) 360-6950.

The festivities continue the following weekend, Feb. 12th and 13th with the annual Los Angeles Chinatown Firecracker 5K/10K Walk/Run. The weekend will feature entertainment both days, a carbo-loading event on Saturday, the walk/run on Sunday, and a 20-mile bike ride. After thirty-one years of existence, the Los Angeles Chinatown Firecracker run is the longest running Chinese New Year athletic event in America. For additional information, or to register for the run/walk/bike ride, visit www.firecracker10k.org or call (323) 256-1363.

2/2 (11 p.m. to 1 a.m.)
* Midnight Temple Celebration at Thien Hau Temple

2/5 (10 a.m. to 8 p.m.)
* 112th Annual Golden Dragon Parade
* Entertainment and Cultural Activities at Central and West Plaza
* LA Craft Experience Market

2/6 (10 a.m. to 6 p.m.)
* “The Great Chinatown Hunt” by Race/LA
* Entertainment and Cultural Activities at Central and West Plaza
* LA Craft Experience Market

2/12 & 2/13
* LA Chinatown Firecracker 5K/10K Walk/Run

All events are free and open to all ages. For information on all upcoming events in Chinatown, visit www.chinatownla.com or call (213) 680-0243.

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