Lunar New Year parade takes place in Chinatown


CHICAGO — Thousands lined the streets of Chinatown for the annual Lunar New Year parade Sunday afternoon.

“It’s about getting your year off to an auspicious start and doing all of the things to bring in luck and happiness and prosperity,” said 11th Ward Alderwoman Nicole Lee of the celebration.

The parade started around 1 p.m. near the intersection of West 24th Street and South Wentworth Avenue — featuring traditional dragon and lion dancing teams, floats and marching bands — and traveled north to the viewing stand at the intersection of West Cermak Road and South Wentworth Avenue.

“I think it’s beautiful, everyone coming together to do this,” said Ali Kolb, a first-time attendee of the parade. “Especially because everyone’s celebrating the year of the rabbit.”

Sophie He, another attendee who was born and raised in China, said the parade reminded her of her cherished childhood memories.

“I grew up in a small town in China that has this every year,” He said. “So, I never thought it was special until I got here.”

The celebration went off without a hitch, but the joy experienced by those who participated on the South Side Sunday doubled as a reminder to be thankful, especially after a mass shooting rocked a similar celebration in California nearly a week ago.

“We had a community vigil last night,” Ald. Lee said. “We wanted to really honor their memory and give that its own solemn moment and have today be for celebrating.”

While there were no signs that suggested there were any threats to the parade, organizers and city officials said they brought in more security, including at the parade and on the CTA Red and Green Lines.

“It’s just out of abundance of caution, that’s all,” said CPD 9th District Commander Don Jerome.

Next year, the Lunar New Year falls on Saturday, Feb. 10 — celebrating the Year of the Dragon — with the parade happening on Sunday, Feb. 18.

For more information on the Lunar New Year and future festivities, you can visit the Chicago Chinatown Community Foundation’s website here.

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