Fireworks Sparkle in Festive Flushing

4 Feb

    

Wrapping up the second leg of the celebration of the Chinese Lunar New Year parade was the more inclusive display of Asian tradition and culture in Flushing Queens. Local neighborhood parades can be just as fun and interesting as some of the bigger parades in the city and this is no exception. The bands and dancing lions were getting prepped to step out for the 16th annual parade. Rachel and I met up on Main St. where one could see the Asian influence in nearly every business on the busy commercial area. Two mounted policemen came towards us announcing the parade was about to start. The parade sponsors, politicians and VIPs marched behind the huge red banner to greet the crowd and wish all a Happy New Year. Then the fun started. Two huge dragons from the World Journal float made their way to each side of Main St. to the delight of the crowd.

    

     A spirited group of marchers followed the dragons including dancing lions, traditionally dressed girls waving fans and banners and a marching band playing popular music. Successive groups of dancing lions made their through the parade route each more energetic than the other. The different Asian influences appeared with the Taiwan float with their huge colorful puppets waving to the crowd. One of the larger participants is Falun Dafa with their political representation and impressive marching band. The group is banned from Communist China for their political and spiritual beliefs. Banners in the crowd requested release of imprisoned family members held by the Communist Party in China. They cheered the loudest when a banner for quitting the Communist Party was held by marchers followed by an all female drummers dressed in bright yellow costume.

           

            

     Probably the largest group to participate in the parade was the Korean representation. After a clever display of a balloon dragon marched down, a traditional Korean band played native instruments. A young marcher blew on a conch shell instead of the typical trumpet. Nice. They were followed by Korean Veterans and a variety of traditional Korean dancers and band. The martial arts are a part of Korean tradition and the students of Team UOTA showed off their style. One of the nicer treats was to see an all female drum band on a float playing upbeat rhythmic music.

             

     As always the main attraction of the parade is after the parade ends, all the marchers assemble at Queens Crossing for the firework display symbolizing good luck for the New Year. Rachel and I met up there and took in the loud firework show. Everyone there walked away smiling knowing the parade was a grand success. Rachel and I had tough choices to make for places to eat because there are so many good places to dine but we finally decide on a Thai, Burmese, Malaysian combination found in Pattaya on Main St. We both agreed this was a fun parade where the crowd really got into the fun and grownups could feel like kids again.

새해 복 많이 받으세요

Happy New Year!!

All photos ©Rachel Cauvin 2012

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