Party like it's Chinese New Year

Jeremy Lai, 10, gets into his role as a lion at the 2013 Chinese New Year celebration. The festival, normally held at the Tucson Chinese Cultural Center at 1288 W. River Road, will be at the Tucson Mall this year to expose more people to the Chinese culture.

Ron Medvescek Arizona Daily Star

In Chinese culture, 2017 is the Year of the Rooster. 🐓🎇

To celebrate, the Tucson Chinese Cultural Center is having its annual Lunar New Year Celebration at the Tucson Mall on Saturday. 

This is the first time the event will be held at the mall, and the hope is to expose more people to Chinese culture and inspire them to continue learning about it after the event, said Susan Chan, executive director of the Tucson Chinese Cultural Center.

The event, normally held at the cultural center at 1288 W. River Road, usually draws between 2,000 and 5,000 people in four hours. This year, Chan hopes to reach 5,000 during the ten-hour celebration.

+2 

Under cloudy skies and the threat of winter storms, the Tucson Sino Dancers perform to The Rain of Jiangnan, one of the many acts performing for the Year of the Horse Chinese New Year Festival at the Tucson Chinese Cultural Center.

Activities include free dance, music and martial arts performances and crafts for children.

An Asian market will be set up with an assortment of Chinese items such as nick-nacks, dresses, umbrellas, kites, calligraphy items and more. 

Since it is the Year of the Rooster, there will be a lot of rooster items for sale, Chan said. Roosters galore. 

"They'll be very hot," Chan said. 

The details

What: Lunar New Year Celebration Year of the Rooster

When: 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Feb. 11

Cost: Free, but bring money to buy stuff in the Asian market

More info: Panda Express at Tucson Mall will donate 20 percent of your purchase on Saturday to the Tucson Chinese Cultural Center if you present them with this coupon.

+2 

photos by Kelly Presnell / Arizona Daily Star

Dancer Honour Buscemi gets right down to this dragon’s level to talk to fellow dancer Luke Sorensen as the Tucson Chinese Cultural Center Lion Dance Team performs for the Year of the Horse Chinese New Year Festival at the center, 1288 W. River Road. More than 3,000 people attended Saturday afternoon’s festivities, which included food, song and dance, Tucson Chinese Association board member Susan Chan estimated.

Performance schedule

11 a.m.: Tucson Sino Dance

11:30 a.m.: Tucson Chinese School - Lion Dance Troupe, Chinese singing, Chinese folk dancing, Chinese yoyo, Chinese martial arts

1 p.m.: Windriver Taichi

1:30 p.m.: Urvashi Dance-India

3 p.m.: Halau Hula O Ualani & Her Menehune Dancers - Hawaii

3:30 p.m.: Tucson Sino martial art

4:30 p.m.: Tucson Chinese Cultural Center - Lion Dance Troupe

5 p.m.: Suzuyuki - Kai Dancers - Japan

Angela Pittenger | This Is Tucson