Hundreds of community members gathered in downtown Fresno to attend the 17th Annual Fresno Chinese New Year Parade on Saturday, March 4, 2017. This event was put together by Chinatown Revitalization Inc. in the heart of Fresno’s Chinatown. This year’s Chinese New Year celebrated the year of the rooster.
The event hosted a festival from 10AM to 3PM where various food vendors, merchants, and community organizations showcased their products and activities for the public’s enjoyment. Some of the groups present at the event included David’s House of Worship, 15tea, the Fresno County Bicycle Coalition, and the Tzu Chi Foundation. There were a range of amenities and activities for people of all different backgrounds and ages to enjoy.
At noon, in the midst of all of the festivities, visitors gathered on both sides of F Street to spectate the much awaited parade which was the highlight of the whole event. The parade featured a spectacle of traditional Chinese dances, dragons, and music.
Performers were dressed in elaborate and traditional Chinese garments, including masks. There was also an array of other floats and performances that made their way through the parade.
Johnny Moua, who is a Fresno State student majoring in Anthropology, shared about his experience attending the Fresno Chinese New Year. He explained that he heard about the event from class and through the Hmong Student Association (HmSA) which he is an active member of.
“The reason I went to the Chinese New Year was because I had to gather information for my Anthro 128 class and I also volunteered to help out HmSA in their fundraiser.”
He stated that he attended the event last year as well. He shared about his familiarity with the event and how it has remained constant over the years.
“It was smaller than last year because there were less booths and less people. Besides that, everything was the same from last year; the food, the resources, the parade, and the location.” Despite that being said, he was still encouraged about that turnout this year and what it meant not only to him but to the community as well.
“The most interesting thing about the Chinese New Year was its community because even though there weren’t much booths, there were still people who came out to see the things that our community and other organizations put up. Seeing the kids, the elders, and the teens just shows me how much our community could still find a way to show diversity.”
The Fresno Chinese New Year was a light-hearted and enlightening event for the community to both embrace and celebrate the rich diversity found right here in the city. It has become a vital and highly anticipated event for many here in the community and is projected to continue being a growing tradition for many more years to come.