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Mayor Mufi Hannemann today joined leaders of the Chinese Chamber of Commerce, Chinatown Merchants Association, United Chinese Coalition, and The ARTS at Marks Garage to announce plans for the City and County of Honolulus Month in Chinatown celebration of Chinese New Year.

            I am pleased to announce that the public and private sectors have again come together to pool our resources to ensure an exciting and memorable Chinese New Year calendar of events for residents and visitors alike.  We introduced this partnership in 2006, refined it in 2007, and spent the past year planning and coordinating an even better event for 2008. 

A four week-long series of events is planned to welcome in the Year of the Rat, Hannemann said. A full slate of free public events is scheduled from the beginning of January through to the Chinese New Year on February 7, 2008.

 As far as I know, Honolulu is the only city where the Culture and Arts are centered in Chinatown, said Hannemann. This years Month in Chinatown celebration will also included a First Friday with participation by numerous Chinatown and Downtown shops, galleries and non-profit organizations.   These events underscore the roll that art and culture have in economic revitalization.  In 2008 there is an even greater participation by merchants and organizations, as evidenced by the 36-page, full-color guidebook.

 The booklets as will Year of the Rat ribbons and pins will be widely available throughout Chinatown for a modest fee of $3.00. The booklet was produced by The ARTS at Marks Garage and printed by the Honolulu Star-Bulletin/Midweek.

The Year of the Rat officially begins on February 7. But traditional observances will be taking place throughout January and February, including lion dances, fireworks, displays and exhibits, Chinese singing and dancing, martial arts demonstrations, feng shui demonstrations and fortune-telling, in addition to the wide variety of food that mirrors the rich diversity of the Chinatown community.

For more information on events, call (808) 948-2007 or visit

Friday, January 11, 2008

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