By Phoenix Tso
After a weather delay from Feb. 24, the 25th Annual Chinese Lunar New Year festival — organized by Quincy Asian Resources Institute and staffed by 200 volunteers — took place March 10 at North Quincy High School.
At least 7,000 people attended the celebration, witnessing an opening lion dance, performances on two stages and eating Asian food from several local restaurants. They also participated in various activities, including making a wish on a Chinese New Year wishing tree, that reflected the tradition and spirit of the Spring Festival.
“The New Year festival has many goals: To celebrate the culture of Quincy’s Asians, to connect Asians and non-Asians, and to reach out to the community with partners that provide essential services,” said John Brothers, executive director of QARI.
To that end, 100 vendors set up tables in the high school gymnasium to offer information on essential services ranging from real estate, public health and employment that were tailored to Quincy’s Chinese and Vietnamese populations. The outreach portion also included volunteers bearing clipboards of voter registration forms in Chinese and the South Shore YMCA’s family fun area. In addition, State Street Global Outreach sponsored a “Green Area” where volunteers taught children how to make snakes and standing drums out of recycled materials.
“It’s very rare that you bring this many people together,” Brothers said. “It’s especially hard to reach out and connect with new people in the community. We didn’t want to set our goals too high, but we have generally had very positive feedback on our outreach.”
This post is also available in: Chinese