Los Angeles Chinatown Gears Up for 2011 Chinese New Year

Sunday, January 23 2011 16:53   Western Travel Buzz
The Los Angeles Chinatown District is getting ready to welcome in a new year - Chinese New Year, of course - and this year's celebration promises to be exciting for visitors.

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.

chinatowncentralplaza2010Thousands 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. 5-6, 2011.

On Saturday, Feb. 5, 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 offers attendees a chance to participate in plenty of activities, do some shopping and eat to their heart's content.

Central Plaza in Chinatown will host some of the best performers outside of Cirque du Soleil - from acrobats, lion dancers and 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 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. 6, "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. 12 and 13, 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 31 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.

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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