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The Tongva Times

The Tongva Times

The Tongva Times

San Gabriel’s 5th LNY Festival

    By Chloe Law

    Staff Writer

     On Jan. 17, the city of San Gabriel hosted its fifth annual San Gabriel Lunar New Year Festival at the San Gabriel Mission district. The event welcomed over 70 vendors and 15,000 attendees onto Mission Drive from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.

      Established in 2015, the festival honors Lunar New Year, the most celebrated holiday in Asia. It aims to combine cultural traditions with modern celebrations in order to create an event that caters towards a wide audience.

      This year, the festival contained multiple aspects including a Street Food Fair, marketplace, carnival games, a contest, and a Kids Zone. To kickstart the event, the festival opened with a lion and dragon dance.

      Traditional Korean, Vietnamese, and Chinese dancers took to the stage with acts such as the Bian Lian dance. Traditional hosts Lancy Zhang and Tian Yi as well as contemporary host Nicki Sun helped introduce the performances while simultaneously engaging the audience.

      “It’s always a great experience being able to share my culture with people,” explained senior Serena Trang, one of the traditional Chinese dancers. “It’s also a lot more meaningful since I’m performing in my hometown.”

      Beyond the stage were food, merchandise, and artisan vendors each offering a variety of options ranging from boba drinks to Lunar New Year merchandise.

      Visitors were also invited to participate in several different contests such as the chalk art contest, student art contest, and talent contest. The judging panel was compiled of Chinese American Museum President Dr. Gay Q. Yuan, Professional Chalk Artist and Designer Trisha Rae Wong, and Rainbow Art MPK Owner and Director Darren Inouye.

       Posters and painting from art contests in local elementary schools were also displayed in Grapevine Room at the Mission Playhouse. Backdrops painted with the words “Year of the Pig” accompanied by a chalkboard were placed at the intersection for photo opportunities.

      Amongst the thousands of people present, members of local high school organizations such as Gabrielino High School’s Key Club and San Gabriel High School’s National Honors Society were also in attendance as they helped organize and manage the event. Volunteers were positioned at multiple stations throughout the festival ranging from the information booth to the Kid Zone as early as 6 a.m. and as late as 8 p.m.

      “Volunteering really let me see the behind the scenes and the work that goes behind the festival,” stated Key Club officer Ashley Tanaka, junior.

      The event was produced by members of KCM Agency, an organization that works in multicultural and cross-cultural advertising and marketing. KCM Agency has also produced events similar to the San Gabriel Lunar New Year Festival– the Westfield Santa Anita Lunar New Year event being one of them.

    “It’s one of my favorite events I’ve helped produce,” stated Candy Yi, KCM Agency coordinator. “The festival is just a great way to let people get first-hand experience in Asian culture.”

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    San Gabriel’s 5th LNY Festival