Golden Dragons, Lion Dancers and the Year of the Dog

By Michael Berick

Los Angeles Lunar New Year

Lion Dancers will dance in the Huntington Gardens. PHOTO BY MARTHA BENEDICT

The Lunar New Year officially arrives Feb. 16. Here are a few notable events where families can help welcome the Year of the Dog.   

Monterey Park’s Lunar New Year Festival, (www.montereypark.ca.gov) will fill five blocks of the city’s downtown area on Garvey Avenue between Ramona and Alhambra avenues from 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Feb. 3 and 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Feb. 4. Kicking things off Saturday morning will be traditional New Year lion and dragon dancers, followed by a big carnival fun zone and live entertainment. Admission is free. 

At 1 p.m. Feb. 17, the Golden Dragon Parade (www.lagoldendragonparade.com) will begin snaking its way along north Broadway through downtown L.A.’s Chinatown, just as it has done for the past 118 years. The colorful celebration features floats, marching bands and traditional firecrackers. Grandstand seating costs $20 for adults, $10 for ages 3-11. Street viewing is free.  

Feb. 17 also is the day the recently reopened Pacific Asia Museum (www.pacificasiamuseum.org) in Pasadena throws its free Lunar New Year party, which begins at 11 a.m. Visitors can enjoy live entertainment, art-making workshops and free admission to the museum.  

The annual Chinese New Year Festival at The Huntington Library and Botanical Gardens (www.huntington.org) in San Marino presents a weekend’s worth of family fun from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Feb. 17 and 18. There will be martial arts demonstrations, mask-changing performances, Chinese music and lion dancers. Admission is $29 adults, $24 ages 12-18, $13 ages 4-11. 

The Lunar New Year is also being saluted at area amusement parks. Disneyland and California Adventure offer the nighttime water show “Hurry Home – Lunar New Year Celebration” and “Mulan’s Lunar New Year Procession” through Feb. 18. Universal Studios Hollywood, meanwhile, will experience Kung Fu Panda-monium Feb. 10-25. Park guests can enjoy the all-new Jade Palace Performance Stage and Kung Fu Panda-inspired Dragon Warrior Training Show, as well as an interactive martial arts demonstration led by Master Po and his pals.

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