SECOND ANNUAL LUNAR FEST SET JANUARY 28, 2012 in Downtown Riverside. The Inland Empire will celebrate the Year of the Dragon
The Year of the Dragon will be celebrated on Saturday, January 28, 2012, in Downtown Riverside with the 2nd Annual Asian Pacific Lunar New Year Festival (Lunar Fest). This second annual event follows the popular Lunar Fest 2011 in downtown Riverside.
The all-day festivities begin with a parade at 10 a.m. and continue until dusk, when a spectacular fireworks display atop Riverside Main Library welcomes the Year of the Dragon. From 10 a.m. until dusk, the downtown, along Mission Inn Avenue from Main Street to Lime Street, will have stages with free performances of traditional dance, singing, music, martial arts and drumming. Sumo wrestlers will perform their crowd-pleasing arts. A ping pong tournament will be ongoing throughout the day.
Children’s Village, one of the most popular Lunar Fest sections last year, will have origami, calligraphy, arts and crafts, kite making, games and other free activities for families. A balloon artist will entertain. School districts are preparing art, films, music and cultural exhibits about China, Japan, Korea and India, where Riverside has Sister Cities, and other Pacific Rim countries.
Organizations with focus on Asian Pacific countries will have booths with cultural exhibits, including painting and bonsai. Vendors will have decorative wares to sell. A variety of foods and beverages will be available.
MayLynn Davis is founder and chair of Lunar Fest. Riverside City Council Member Paul Davis of Riverside Food Truck Festival fame is honorary chair of Lunar Fest. A large committee includes representatives of the colleges and universities in Riverside and many cultural organizations, including Riverside Art Museum.
Lunar Fest 2011 was the first and only collaborative event held in Riverside for the diverse Asian Pacific countries represented in Inland Southern California. An estimated 20,000 people attended, one of the largest festivals of its kind ever hosted in Downtown Riverside.
Lunar Fest is an affiliate of the International Relations Council of Riverside (IRC), an umbrella organization responsible for Riverside’s eight Sister Cities worldwide, with four in Asia. Lunar Fest commemorates the contributions of Asia Pacific Americans to the education and history of Riverside and the region. Past and recent members of this diverse group have built the railroads, helped to develop the citrus groves, and contributed to education and commerce. Lunar Fest brings together Riverside’s diverse communities to celebrate the City’s ties to the Pacific Rim, and to share their cultures and traditions with the many other groups who call the Inland Empire home.
For more information, check out www.LunarFestRiverside.org