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MAYOR HANNEMANN WELCOMES YEAR OF THE OX

 

Drum beats and cheers filled the air at Honolulu Hale today as lion dancers and beauty queens joined Mayor Mufi Hannemann to kick off the city’s annual Month in Chinatown festivities and celebration of Chinese New Year.

 

Chinatown will be especially lively in the weeks leading up to January 26, when the Year of the Ox officially begins. Music, culture and cuisine will take center stage as the neighborhood welcomes 2009 with a parade and other fun and exciting events.

 

            “Once again the public and private sectors have come together to pool our resources to ensure an exciting and memorable calendar of events for residents and visitors alike,” Mayor Hannemann said. “This partnership, first introduced by my administration in 2006, grows stronger each year.”

 

            Event organizers have published a 36-page information booklet that includes a full calendar of events, a handy map of the neighborhood, and information about Chinatown’s history and culture.

 

            Chinatown artist Zong Chen Liu create the Ox logo for this year’s events.

 

            The public can learn more about the celebration by visiting www.Chinatownhi.com or calling 948-2007.

 

Highlights of this year’s Month in Chinatown will include:

 

Narcissus Queen Pageant

Saturday, January 10, 6:30 – 9:00 p.m.

At the Hawaii Theatre

Open to the public, tickets available by calling 533-3181

Presented by the Chinese Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii

The Narcissus Queen Pageant annually selects a Narcissus Queen and her court to preside over Narcissus Festival activities throughout the year. Winners serve as ambassadors of the Chinese Chamber and the Chinese community in Hawaii. While the competition focuses on the beauty and poise of our contestants, there is a talent phase that often showcases Chinese performances and a speech phase where contestants respond to questions regarding their culture.

 

Chinese New Year Festival

Friday and Saturday, January 9 & 10 and 16 & 17, 10:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m. At Chinatown Cultural Plaza

Open to the public, free

Presented by the United Chinese Coalition

At this four-day event, food vendors provide a variety of Chinese and other Asian cuisine favorites. Exhibits and entertainment include feng shui presentations, arts and crafts vendors, martial arts demonstrations, Chinese fortune readings, and Chinese dancing and singing.

 

Coronation Ball

Saturday, January 17, 5:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.

At Hilton Hawaiian Village

Open to the public, tickets available by calling 533-3181

Presented by the Chinese Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii

At the Coronation Ball, the new Narcissus Queen is officially crowned with much pomp and grandeur as the Chinese Chamber celebrates the 60th Anniversary of the Narcissus Festival.  Former Chamber Presidents and Narcissus Queens will make a special appearance.  Fantastic entertainment, beautiful setting, historic video, and a sumptuous banquet are in store.

 

Chinese New Year Charity Show

Sunday, January 18, 3:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

At McKinley High School Auditorium

Open to the public, tickets available by calling 779-8822

Presented by the United Chinese Coalition

This is a variety show of song and dance by performers visiting from more than 15 Chinese cities.  Proceeds will benefit the Palolo Chinese Home and the Mun Lun Chinese School.

 

60th Annual Narcissus Festival and Choy Cheng, Traditional Lion Dance Blessing, and Chinatown Open House

Friday, January 23, 6:00 – 10:00 p.m.

In Chinatown and at Chinatown Cultural Plaza

Open to the public, free

Presented by the Chinese Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii

The evening begins at 76 N. King St. with the traditional Chinese lion dance blessing –  Choy Cheng.  The Narcissus Queen and her court will visit Chinatown businesses and their patrons. Stores celebrate by lighting firecrackers and offering lisee (good luck money envelopes) to the dancing lions.  Meanwhile, the Chinatown Open House celebration takes place at the Chinatown Cultural Plaza, with food vendors, arts and crafts booths, and entertainment.

 

Chinatown Open House, Day Two

Saturday, January 24, 9:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m.

At the Chinatown Cultural Plaza

Open to the public, free

Presented by the Chinese Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii

Food vendors provide an assortment of Chinese ethnic favorites, including jai (vegetarian monk’s food), gin doi (Chinese doughnut), gau (New Year pudding), and jook (rice soup). Entertainment includes ethnic dance troupes, local musical groups, and martial arts and weapons demonstrations.

 

Night in Chinatown Festival

Saturday, January 24, 9:00 a.m. – 10:30 p.m.

On Maunakea Street

Open to the public, free

Presented by the Chinatown Merchants Association

This all-day block party features booths with home-cooked Asian food and traditional New Year’s arts and crafts, as well as, entertainment on two stages with martial arts, cultural demonstrations, and Chinese lion and dragon dance performances.  This is the last opportunity to purchase special food or items to welcome the Lunar New Year.

 

Night in Chinatown Parade

Saturday, January 24, 4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Begins on Hotel Street at the State Capitol and proceeds to Maunakea Street

Open to the public, free.

Presented by the Chinatown Merchants Association

Parade participants include Festival Queens and their courts, cultural organizations, kung fu martial artists, lion and dragon dance associations, including a special performance by a 150 foot dragon.  For more information about this event, call Gifford Chang at (808) 306-4570 or Denton Chun at (808) 497-2670, or email hawaiichinatown@yahoo.com.

 

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Media contact only: Alenka Remec, Mayor’s Office of Economic Development, 523-4249

 

Website:  www.chinatownhi.com