By Ling-Mei Wong 黃靈美
Quincy rang in the Year of the Dog with its 30th Annual Lunar New Year Festival on Feb. 11 at North Quincy High School, attracting hundreds of attendees.
Quincy Mayor Tom Koch said in a prepared statement, “From the performances to the food, arts and crafts and activities for all ages, the Lunar New Year Festival is a wonderful symbol of Quincy’s great diversity.”
The event featured live kung fu demonstrations, dance performances and food. Vendors sold Lunar New Year supplies of red envelopes to hold “lucky money” gifts and plants to make homes festive. A karaoke contest quickly filled up, with singers performing hits in English, Cantonese, Mandarin and more. Author Grace Lin read with children, who joined her to put on a dramatic performance. A dog mascot and the God of Fortune made the rounds, swarmed by attendees keen for selfies. Food and drinks from local businesses provided sustenance to attendees.
Event organizer Quincy Asian Resources, Inc. (QARI) CEO Philip Chong said he was proud of Quincy’s diversity, with Asians representing more than 27 percent of the city’s population. He also appreciated more than 400 youth from QARI’s Youth ServiceCorps, who volunteered time to organize the festival.
“We are Chinese, Vietnamese, Indian, Korean, Japanese, Taiwanese and more, with distinctive cultural traditions. The Lunar New Year Festival provides a haven for which we can come together to celebrate, share and honor these traditions,” Chong said in a prepared statement.
Elected officials at the event included Mayor Koch, Massachusetts Assistant Secretary of Business Development and International Trade Nam Pham, state Rep. Tackey Chan, Quincy City Councilor Brad Croall and Quincy City Councilor Nina Liang.