Kick Off the Year of the Dog with Lunar New Year Celebration

ROANOKE, Va. (Jan. 29, 2018) —The Taubman Museum of Art, Local Colors and Roanoke Valley Sister Cities invite the community to celebrate Lunar New Year Saturday, Feb. 3, 12-2 p.m. at the Taubman Museum of Art, 110 Salem Ave. SE.

Lunar New Year is a special celebration recognized by Asian communities throughout the world, and is a time when families mark the changing of the traditional Chinese calendar with special foods, gifts and customs. The upcoming year is the Year of the Dog, the eleventh of 12 signs that make up the Chinese zodiac.

“Lunar New Year is a wonderful opportunity for our community to learn about the cultural traditions of our Asian friends and neighbors living right here in southwest Virginia,” said Cindy Petersen, Taubman Museum of Art executive director. “We invite everyone to come out and enjoy this special, free community day with spectacular dances, performances and art making.”

Added Local Colors Executive Director Beth Lutjen: “Roanoke is home to a large Asian population with rich cultural traditions, and many local groups are looking forward to sharing them at this event. And new this year — some local downtown businesses are getting into the spirit and will offer Lunar New Year attendees discounts that day. We’ll have a full list for guests the day of the event.”

Event highlights include:

  • David White and the Shaolin Dragon Martial Arts Academy performing lion and dragon dances
  • Jane Wang and her accomplished students showcasing traditional Chinese string compositions
  • Blacksburg Chinese School demonstrating Chinese Yo-Yo’s and performing traditional Chinese dances
  • 1550 Dance Group performing the dance “Flying Kites”
  • Art projects for children and families representing cultural celebrations from a variety of Asian cultures
  • Ice cream for sale by Blue Cow Ice Cream Company
  • Guests also are invited to visit Art Venture, the Museum’s interactive children’s gallery, featuring 14 hands-on creativity stations. Art Venture is free Feb. 3 from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. as part of the celebration.

The event concludes with Lutjen distributing traditional Chinese Red Envelopes with well wishes to children in attendance along with a group sing-along of the traditional New Year’s song, “Gong xi Gong xi.”

About Local Colors

Local Colors is Roanoke’s premiere, year-long multicultural program that recognizes and embraces people of diverse origins, races and ethnic backgrounds. Throughout the year, Local Colors works with diverse communities in the valley advocating for inclusion and providing referrals and access to community services. Visit their website to learn more about future events and programs, and how you can support Local Colors.

About Roanoke Valley Sister Cities

Roanoke Valley Sister Cities provides connections to four continents and seven different countries through its artistic, education, medical, municipal, social, humanitarian and business exchanges.

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