On Sunday, February 10, 2019 the Brooklyn Chinese-American Association hosted their annual Lunar New Year Parade in Sunset Park, Brooklyn. Parades celebrating the Lunar New Year are held across New York City including Chinatown, Manhattan and Flushing, Queens.
The turn-out for the parade was great, with people ranging from young to old and lots of multigenerational groups. “My parents immigrated here from China in 1997. I really enjoy coming with them when I can because it helps them, and me, feel connected to our heritage and culture,” Tyler, a 19-year old Chinese-American student from Flatbush shared.
The event was kicked off with speeches, awards, and blessings by the community leaders. Like most parades there was cotton candy being sold along with balloons, confetti poppers, silly string, and sparklers. Then giant red confetti filled balloons were popped, a ton of firecrackers were set off, and dancers adoring colorful dragon costumes performed. After letting hundreds of red and yellow balloons float up into the sky, the parade took off down 8th Avenue and local elementary school dancers took the stage to perform.
Lisa, a mother of 2 living in Manhattan, says she also comes with her parents who had immigrated over from Hong Kong with her in the 80s. “Growing up we always went to the parade in the city and made a day of it. Celebrating with our neighbors and any family that was around. Now my parents live here in Sunset Park, so we usually come out here for the day with the kids. They love seeing the performers and costumes and I know my mom loves that she’s able to celebrate the New Year with such a connected, strong community.”
The Chinese-American community is definitely strong, and prominent, in this part of Brooklyn. Sunset Park is actually the largest Chinatown in all 5 boroughs of Manhattan and this parade has been held annually for over 30 years. Happy year of the pig!