This year’s Chicago Chinatown is not just celebrating another Chinese New Year 4710 the Year of The Dragon (the most auspicious Chinese symbol of all) but this Chinatown is also celebrating its Centennial year of existence in Chicago. 100 years! Signs of the first Chinese community in 1880 started in the loop area particularly around Van Buren & Clark St. but it was 1912 when the burgeoning Chinese community staked its claim of the Southern part of the Loop in the Cermak & Princeton area. Today, this Chinatown boasts over 27,000 in population.
The New Year celebrations goes on for weeks but the actual date is on January 23rd. Chinatown’s big 2012 Lunar New Year Parade celebrating the Year of the DRAGON 4710 will be January 29th that will include marching bands, floats, lion dance teams, a mystical dragon, and Miss Friendship Ambassador. Parade step-off time is 1:00PM though there are other activities starting as early as 11:30AM.
Check out the Chicago Chinatown Visitor’s Guide published by ChicagoChinatown.org for a comprehensive list of places to see and things to know about our Chinatown: Click here to download the pdf file.
Want to learn more about the Chinese culture? Check out Chicago Chinese Cultural institute. They have events from showing you how to cook a Chinese New Year Family Dinner, to The Chopstick Dining Club, and even Chinese Kite Making and Paper-cutting Workshops.
Want a Chinatown Group Tour Guide instead? Here’s one that I found online: Chinatown Tour Chicago
Hope this will help you enjoy and discover the wonders of the Chinese culture and celebrate this rich tradition with all the Chicago Chinese Americans.
Gung Hei Fat Choy! (Happy New Year)