Have you visited downtown during Chinese New Year?
Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn G. Goodman will kick-off the three-day festival during the opening ceremonies which will feature a live authentic dragon dance by the Las Vegas Lohan School of Shaolin. Throughout the weekend guests will also experience live International Cultural Performances; taste authentic dishes from around the world in the International Vendor Village; watch contestants compete for the chance to be crowned Miss Asian American Pacific Islander USA which will include a Macy*s Fashion Show, Talent Show and interview segment; view stunning parade floats in the McDonald’s Las Vegas Spring Festival Parade; and create their own lantern to display on Fremont Street Experience to commemorate the Lunar Lantern Festival.
“Last year we hosted the first-ever Chinese New Year festival in Downtown Las Vegas which was a great success,” said Jeff Victor, president of Fremont Street Experience. “We are excited to once again host this important holiday and encourage everyone to come downtown for a fun-filled weekend to usher in the Year of the Snake and wish wealth, health and good fortune to all.”
“Chinese New Year in the Desert will be a three-day cultural party with several new marquee events, making Downtown Las Vegas truly one of the best places for everyone to come together and ring in the Year of the Water Snake,” said Jan-Ie Low, of Golden Catalyst. ”
“Las Vegas is excited to usher in Chinese New Year with a variety of cultural amenities, attractions and celebrations,” said Michael Goldsmith, vice president of international sales for the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority. “China is an important market for the destination as it is our number one source of international travel from Asia.”
Opening Ceremonies – Friday, Feb. 8 at 6 p.m. on the 3rd Street Stage
Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn G. Goodman will help usher in the new year by participating in the Opening Ceremonies and ribbon cutting on Friday, Feb. 8 at 6 p.m. on the 3rd Street Stage (next to the D, Four Queens and Fremont). The new year will be greeted with a live authentic dragon dance performed by the Las Vegas Lohan School of Shaolin complete with virtual firecrackers on Viva Vision (the largest video screen in the world measuring 1,500 feet long and suspended 90 feet above the street), an eye painting ceremony and performers dressed in elaborate costumes.
International Vendor Village and Cultural Performances
Throughout the three-day festival, guests will be taken on a journey around the world as they experience performances from several Asian entertainers on the 3rd Street Stage and visit the International Vendor Village, located on 3rd Street North between Fremont Street and Stewart Avenue, to taste the international flavors from renown food vendors. The International Vendor Village and Cultural Performances will take place on Friday, Feb. 8 from 5-10 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 9 and 10 from noon-9 p.m.
Lunar Lantern Festival
To commemorate the Lunar Lantern Festival, which officially ends the Chinese New Year celebrations, primary grade students of Clark County School District will be constructing paper lanterns marked with their “wish” for 2013. The lanterns will then be on display throughout Fremont Street Experience during the Chinese New Year in the Desert festival. Additionally, guests and passersby are invited to stop in at a booth located near the 3rd Street Stage to build their own lantern to display on Fremont Street Experience. The Lunar Lantern Festival is sponsored by St. Jude’s Women’s Auxiliary Group.
Miss Asian American Pacific Islander USA Pageant
Throughout the three-day event, several women will compete in the Miss Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) USA Pageant. Contestants will participate in the Macy*s Fashion Show, modeling the latest cutting edge Spring fashion lines from Macy*s, a Talent Show emceed by Ian Ziering from Beverly Hills 90210, and interview segment for the chance to be crowned Miss AAPI USA. The winner will receive a combination of cash and gift prizes with a retail value of $10,000. The First Runner-Up and Second Runner-Up will receive a combination of cash and gift prizes with a retail value of $5,000 and $2,500 respectively.
The schedule for the Miss Asian American Pacific Islander Pageant is as follows:
*** All events take place on the 3rd Street Stage.
Friday, Feb. 8
8 p.m. – Introduction of Miss AAPI USA Contestants
9 p.m. – Macy*s Fashion Show
Saturday, Feb. 9
8 p.m. – Talent Show: Miss AAPI USA Contestants
Sunday, Feb. 10
8 p.m. – Interview and Crowning of Miss AAPI USA Contestants
Heart Walk Benefitting the American Heart Association
On Saturday, Feb. 9 thousands of walkers from all over the valley will step out to support the American Heart Association during the Heart Walk. Registration begins at 7:30 a.m. at the 3rd Street Stage with the walk taking place from 8:30-10:30 a.m.
McDonald’s Las Vegas Spring Festival Parade
On Sunday, Feb. 10 local businesses and organizations will come together to celebrate the Chinese Lunar New Year during the McDonald’s Las Vegas Spring Festival Parade. Parade participants will showcase their talent and creativity with the most extravagant floats in vibrant colors to commemorate the rich history of the most important holiday of the Asian community. Starting at 10 a.m. at the intersection of Gass Avenue and 4th Street, the McDonald’s Las Vegas Spring Festival Parade will travel up 4th Street through Fremont Street Experience and end at the intersection of 4th Street and Ogden Avenue.
For a detailed entertainment schedule go to www.cnyinthedesert.com. All entertainment is free and open to the public.