The Nevada City Chinese New Year Festival welcomes the Year of the Horse Sunday.
The community parade is set to begin at noon at the Chinese Monument on Commercial Street (the old Chinese Quarter), led by the ceremonial Lion Dancers from Eastern Ways Martial Arts of Sacramento.
The entourage will make its way down Commercial Street and end at Robinson Plaza.
Additional parade units include first-graders from Grass Valley Charter School, Xiao Mao (Little CATS) Culture Club, Body Balance Academy, Grass Valley Taiko, the CATS’ Dragon and other arts and culture organizations.
The Lion Dancers will spearhead an afternoon of Asian culture and entertainment after the parade. In the event of rain, the parade and festival will move indoors to Miners Foundry Cultural Center.
Entertainers will include Grass Valley Taiko, Body Balance martial artists, a play by Xiao Mao, a traditional Chinese dance by Lily Zhu, and The Two Tenners — homegrown 10-year old Zed Friedman and his best friend Sean will perform their special blend of magic and acrobatic tricks that’s sure to entertain the entire family.
Food and drinks will be on sale; booths and exhibits will highlight the Asian culture and the early Chinese pioneers of the Sierra Foothills. Visitors can even try out their hand at Mahjong.
More than 100 years ago, the Chinese pioneers of Nevada City staged a parade on Commercial Street during Chinese New Year.
The Festival producers today (Kwong Chew of Asia and the Community Asian Theatre of the Sierra) are pleased to revitalize this tradition and to honor the early inhabitants of the old Chinese Quarter and the Sierra Foothills.
The new moon on Jan. 31 began the year of the Wood Horse 4712 in Chinese astrology.
The Chinese New Year is a spring festival that begins on the second new moon after the winter solstice.
The Wood Horse year projects a time of fast victories, unexpected adventure and surprising romance.
It is an excellent year for travel; energy is high and production is rewarded. Events move quickly in a Horse year.
This is the festival’s third year celebrating the Chinese New Year in Nevada City. It has grown steadily in scope and popularity.
The festival will run from noon to 3 p.m. Sunday.
For more information, go to http://catsweb.org/.
Jeannie Wood is executive director of Community Asian Theatre of the Sierra.