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Snow forecast postpones Quincy's Lunar New Year Festival

Posted by Jessica Bartlett  February 22, 2013 05:07 PM

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Lunar New Year 2012 from Quincy Asian Resources on Vimeo.

Quincy Asian Resources

A video compiled by QARI shows the planning and preparation that went into the 2012 Lunar New Year Festival.

With snow wavering on the horizon, Quincy's 25th Annual Lunar New Year Festival at North Quincy High School will be postponed to March 10.

The region is expecting another snowstorm to hit Saturday or Sunday, right as the festival, initially scheduled for Feb. 24, brings thousands of revelers into the city.

“Our biggest concern is we’re talking about a lot of people and we want to make sure people can get there and park safety and get home safely,” said John Brothers, executive director of Quincy Asian Resources, which puts on the event as well as the summertime August Moon festival. “We’re working with the city and School Department to coordinate that effort.”

In years past, the event has attracted 7,000 to 8,000 people.

Because of the crowds, the group has decided to postpone the festival to March 10, however the festivities will start later in the day.

According to updates posted to the group's website and Facebook pages, the festival will take place at North Quincy High from 12 p.m. till 5 p.m., after Quincy's half marathon .

Participants are warned that there will be road closures in the area earlier that morning due to the race.

Regardless of when the festival happens, Brothers said the group is preparing for a large event, featuring a more diverse food menu as well as some new attractions for visitors.

“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,” Brothers said.

QARI will also have representatives of the Crane Public Library do bilingual story telling.

All these activities will occur alongside crafts, games, a Beijing Opera costumes and mahjong contest, environmental booths, and a Chinese wishing tree.

Traditional music, singing, dancing, and martial arts exhibitions will also be performed at the event.

Making sure all these aspects of the festival happen is the work of hundreds of volunteers, who come together every year to organize, plan, and decorate North Quincy High.

While the final festival pays homage to their work, Brothers also said the celebration is important for other reasons.

“[These festivals] serve as a major rallying point to bring together the entire Quincy community,” Brothers said. “It’s a point of pride and special thing for many of the immigrant population in Quincy. 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 also encourages civic participation in both the younger Quincy crowd as well as the adult population.

The event, coupled with their August Moon festival and benefit dinner, cumulatively account 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.

Festivities will start at noon on March 10. Free parking is available at several locations around the event. This event is free and open to the public.

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