Bad weather has pushed back the celebration, but Quincy’s 25th Annual Lunar New Year Festival will feature a more diverse menu and new attractions for visitors when it finally takes place this Sunday, organizers say.
“We have Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese, Thai, and Indian [food]. We’ve never had that much diversity in our food vendors. It will be pretty tasty,” said John Brothers, executive director of Quincy Asian Resources Inc., which puts on the new year event as well as the summertime August Moon Festival.
The activities at North Quincy High School will occur alongside crafts, games,Beijing Opera costumes, a mahjong contest, environmental booths, martial arts exhibitions, and a Chinese wishing tree. QARI will also have representatives of the Thomas Crane Public Library do bilingual story-telling.
Making sure all aspects of the festival happen is the work of hundreds of volunteers, who come together to organize, plan, and decorate the high school.
While the final festival pays homage to their work, Brothers also said the celebration is important for other reasons.
The festival “is a point of pride and a special thing for many of the immigrant population in Quincy,’’ Brothers said. “But we have a lot of volunteers and people who attend who aren’t immigrants, and it’s great to bring everyone together to appreciate different cultures.”
The event has typically drawn 7,000 to 8,000 people. The new year festival, coupled with an August Moon festival and benefit dinner, accounts for 40 percent of the organization’s operating budget.
“Many sponsors support the event not just because they want to support the festival, but they support the work QARI does,” Brothers said. “From a large sponsor like State Street to many small Quincy businesses . . . a dentist or restaurant will buy an advertisement in our program book, and they are doing it because they want to support our work.”
This year, South Cove Community Health Center is the primary sponsor of the event, scheduled for Feb. 24, but postponed after forecasts of a snowstorm. The lunar new year occurred on Feb. 10.
Festivities will start at noon, after Quincy’s half-marathon, and run until 5 p.m. Free parking is at several locations, but participants are warned there will be road closures in the area due to the race.