The Chinese New Year begins Feb. 16, so if you don’t already have plans for the lunar new year, it’s time to get ready.
2018 is the Year of the Dog, so expect to see plenty of canine decor when you’re out enjoying the holiday. Plenty of cities across the U.S. will host free Chinese New Year celebrations, and many retailers offer discounts and deals for the holiday.
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A city not known for doing anything low-key, Las Vegas is bound to host an unforgettable event for the Chinese New Year. The seventh annual Chinese New Year in the Desert is a free celebration taking place from The Strip to downtown — specifically at Fashion Show Mall, Downtown Container Park and the Grand Canal Shoppes — from Feb. 16 to Feb. 17. Many hotels are also decked out for the holiday, so stop in and enjoy the festive decor.
One event you certainly don’t want to miss is the Las Vegas Spring Festival Parade, held at 11 a.m. on Feb. 17. The parade route starts at the intersection of Fremont and 11th and ends at Fremont and 7th Street — the entrance to Downtown Container Park. Following the parade, stick around for the after-party at Downtown Container Park, where there will be plenty of free activities for the kids.
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Do you need ideas on what to do when visiting Angeles? If you’re in Los Angeles on Feb. 17, head to Chinatown for the Golden Dragon Parade. Thousands are expected to attend the event, which starts at 1 p.m. at Hill Street and Temple Street, so arrive early to secure your spot.
The Chinese New Year Festival will also take place the same day, from noon to 8 p.m. Held in Chinatown’s Central Plaza, this free event features the five element “villages,” performances, food trucks and a craft and vintage market.
New York City
Don’t miss the free New Year Firecracker Ceremony & Cultural Festival on Feb. 16, in New York City. Visit Sara D. Roosevelt Park from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., for performances, vendors and giveaways.
Come back to Chinatown the next weekend for the 19th Annual New York City Lunar New Year Parade and Festival. Held on Feb. 25 at 1 p.m., this free celebration features performances, food and activities for all ages. The parade goes from Mott and Canal to Chatham Square before ending next to Sara D. Roosevelt Park.
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Clear your schedule for Feb. 24, because you don’t want to miss the Southwest Airlines Chinese New Year Parade — named one of the world’s top 10 parades by the International Festivals and Events Association.
A free event, the parade begins at 5:15 p.m. at Second and Market Streets. It’s best to arrive early and choose a spot by 4:30 p.m., due to the large crowd expected to attend. More than 100 groups will participate in this parade, which lasts a little over two hours.
The Seventh Annual Central Florida Dragon Parade Lunar New Year Festival will take place in Orlando, Fla., on Feb. 25.
The state’s largest Chinese New Year event is free and fun for all. It starts at the corner of N. Thornton Avenue and Oregon Street and ends at N. Thornton and Colonial Drive. Stick around afterward for the five-hour Lunar Festival, featuring dragon dancing, lion dancing and Asian food.
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Visit the Viet Hoa Center at Beltway 8 Plaza on Feb. 24 and Feb. 25 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., for the 2018 Chinese New Year celebration. The event has free admission and features dancers, fireworks, music and a red envelope ceremony each day.
You won’t want to miss the 2018 Lunar New Year Celebration in Seattle’s Chinatown-International District. It’s worth braving the notoriously rainy city on Feb. 11 to check out the Japanese Taiko Drumming, martial arts performances, lion dances and more. Admission is free, and activities start at 11 a.m. and run until 4 p.m.
If you’re planning to be in the Windy City this winter, be sure to hit up the annual Lunar New Year parade.
Held in Chicago’s Chinatown on Feb. 25, the event starts at 24th Street and Wentworth Avenue at 1 p.m. and features marching bands, floats and a special guest appearance by Ronald McDonald himself. The parade is a popular event, so consider taking public transportation to avoid getting caught in traffic.