The Chinese New Year Festival dances in the historic Chinatown plaza on Saturday, Feb. 16 and Sunday, Feb. 17.
"Venerable" might get tossed around a little too much, but it is a word that certainly applies to Chinatown's annual New Year's celebration.
Exhibit A? The Golden Dragon Parade, the colorful, much-attended centerpiece of the 15-day festivities, turns 114 this year. Meaning it did indeed start at the very end of the 19th century. Venerable.
But organizers constantly look ahead, and think about what the new things can be as well. And for 2013 that will be an attempt to break a world record: the most pieces of paper folded.
Some 80,000 folded pieces are expected -- attendees and volunteers will do the folding -- and they'll all go into one magnificent, papery sculpture. Have a guess as to what that will be? Here's a hint: We'll be marking the Year of the Snake.
And while the revelries around Chinatown will indeed stretch through most of mid-February, you'll want to be there over the weekend of Saturday, Feb. 16 and Sunday, Feb. 17 for the paper-folding, the Golden Dragon Parade, and the myriad satellite events that enhance and deepen the experience.
Let's give a few shout-outs for those as well. A singing competition will be held, as will martial arts demos. And, of course, the food trucks will be out, while many Chinatown eateries will be cooking up their traditional specialties. A craft beer garden is in the works, too.
The annual Firecracker Run, we should add, happens the following weekend, lest you indulge a bit too much. It's the New Year, so living it up and embracing the spirit of the snake is in merry order.