Dragon Parade Lunar New Year Festival Brings Unity to Orange County
Orange County Government participated in the 8th Annual Dragon Parade Lunar New Year Festival celebrating the Year of the Pig on Feb. 17 with a strong showing of support from employees and residents from across Central Florida.
The Orange County Asian Committee and several members of FusionFest walked the parade following Orange County Mayor Jerry L. Demings and other elected officials. The parade travelled on Thornton Avenue between Lake Highland and Colonial Drive. Mayor Demings also celebrated the Vietnamese New Year Festival with local residents at the Central Florida Fairgrounds the previous night.
“Orange County’s greatest strength lies in the diversity of our people,” said Mayor Demings. “Thank you to all the community partners for hosting the 2019 Dragon Parade and Lunar New Year Festival celebrating the Year of the Pig.”
In addition to attending the festivities, Mayor Demings proclaimed Sunday, Feb. 17, 2019 as Lunar New Year Festival Day in Orange County.
This year, Asia Trend Magazine together with Mills 50 – Orlando Main Streets District, REACH of Central Florida and the Youth Enrichment and Senior Services organization joined to organize and coordinate the popular community gathering.
The Mills 50 District has also long been called Little Saigon, reflecting a significant transformation that began in Orlando’s Colonialtown neighborhood with the arrival of a significant Vietnamese population in the late 1970s.
The Lunar New Year is the most celebrated holiday in East Asia. Although the Chinese New Year is not an official holiday in Western countries, many nationwide Asian organizations hold large celebrations and parades marking the beginning of the spring season. Orange County and cities like Sydney, London, New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco have held many large scale Lunar New Year Parades, attracting thousands of attendees each year.
Following the parade, the Lunar New Year Festival featured Asian entertainment including dragon, lion and cultural dancing, martial arts demonstrations, taiko drummers, arts, crafts and Asian food. More than 8,500 patrons attended the free event in 2018 and while the count isn’t official just yet, this year’s crowd counts should exceed previous attendance figures.
Photo Description: Volunteers practice the dragon dance for the 2019 Dragon Parade and Lunar New Year Festival in Orlando’s Mills 50 Main Street District.