With five lions roaring and dancing to open the show, the 24th Annual Alhambra Lunar New Year Street Festival took place on Feb. 21 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
“Alhambra City holds this traditional community event with the cooperation of [the] Chamber of Commerce, [the] Alhambra Police and [the] Fire Department and support from sponsors. It is good for the immigrants, long-time residents and all ethnic groups to get to know more about Asian culture,” event organizer Pinki Chen said.
Following an art exhibit held at the Alhambra City Hall three weeks beforehand, the festival is the second part of the Alhambra City’s celebration of the Year of the Sheep. Located at the heart of the most concentrated Chinese commercial district in the San Gabriel Valley, Alhambra City held the street festival on five city blocks on Valley Boulevard from Garfield Avenue to Almansor Street. According to the Alhambra New Year Festival website, about 150 vendors and 25,000 citizens attended the celebration. In total, 250 booths provided different activities, including giveaways, games and foods that are exotic to some who attended but familiar to the majority in attendance.
AHS volunteers have long been part of the event. This year, 40 spots were opened to ASB, Freshman Leadership and service clubs on a first-come, first-serve basis. Although more than the required amount of people signed up, some students who got their spots were spotted not actively working.
“They signed up to work [and] to be helpful, not [to] just enjoy themselves by staying in the information booth hanging out and texting,” Chen said. “There is a problem with young people today.”
In response to Chen’s feedback, volunteer coordinator Phillip Tang also provided his thoughts on improving the volunteer system.
“There needs to be better communication and [fewer] spots available,” Tang said. “An entire [position] was taken out last minute, so the volunteers working for the job became floaters. Most of the jobs were just people sitting around. 40 volunteers was way too excessive for the event.”
Overall, the event itself was well-attended and received positive reactions from citizens.
“We strive to bring in new, interesting elements every year for the celebration so people who attended will keep returning and start off their new year in a fresh manner,” Chen said.