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The Year of the Dragon is a significant year in Asian tradition: the dragon is sacred and symbolizes strength, luck and new beginnings. Throughout Asia and also in the U.S., cities are preparing for this important time of year with much fanfare and celebration—this is especially true in Los Angeles’ most unique historic district, LA Chinatown. LA Chinatown hosts one of the largest New Year celebrations in the country with more than 125,000 attendees convening in the district for the weekend-long celebration.

LA Chinatown kicks off the Year of the Dragon the weekend of January 28 – 29, 2012, beginning with the 113th Annual Golden Dragon Parade. Attendees can enjoy hundreds of spectacular floats, decked-out cars, dancers and bands as they parade down the heart of Chinatown. This year’s Grand Marshals include Disney’s Mulan and Mushu and international bestselling author Lisa See whose book Snow Flower and the Secret Fan was adapted into a movie in 2011.

The Chinese New Year Festival gets underway following the parade with cultural performances by some of the nation’s best Chinese acts, children’s activities and hands-on cultural workshops. LA Craft Experience (LACE), LA’s premier artist’s market will feature over 40 local vendors, offering shoppers a truly unique shopping experience.

Attendees can expect to nosh on traditional Chinese cuisine offered at many Chinatown restaurants as well as non-traditional dishes offered by food vendors and some of LA’s hottest gourmet food trucks. Additionally, the wildly popular show Cupcake Wars will be on hand with 1,000 Chinese New Year-themed cupcakes for people to enjoy.

There are two festival sites with entertainment stages at each: 727 N. Hill Street on Sat., Jan. 282012 from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Central Plaza at 943-951 N. Broadway on Sat., Jan. 28 from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. and Sun., Jan. 29 from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.The 113th Annual Golden Dragon Parade is on Sat., Jan. 28 beginning at 1 p.m.

The always popular 2012 LA Chinatown Firecracker 5/10K run follows the Chinese New Year Festival on February 11 – 12. Visitfirecracker10k.org for more details.

For more information on the Chinese New Year Festival visit www.chinatownla.com or call 213-680-0243.

Keep watch because soon we will look at what the Chinese horoscope says about your home!

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SOURCE Los Angeles Chinatown Business Council LOS ANGELES, Dec. 20, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ —