Americana Chinese New Year Celebration 2014

Last Saturday, I hit the sixth annual Chinese New Year Celebration at The Americana at Brand in Glendale.  Although it was scheduled from 12pm- 3pm, we ended up staying the entire day celebrating the new year of the horse.

Free Activities

Although the waiting lines rivaled Disneyland without the benefit of Fast Track, I was impressed with the many free activities.  The Balloon Guy made amazing balloon animals. Chinese calligraphers drew Chinese characters and horses.  Kids could make arts and crafts that included fans and horses.

YouTube Stars

We were also treated to the singing talents of Jason Chen and Clara C.  Jason not only wowed us with his vocals and his songwriting with an original number, he even commemorated the occasion with a Chinese song.  Can we say the next Bruno Mars?

Special Deals

For the next two weeks, Americana merchants will have special Chinese New Year deals.  After a long afternoon waiting in line, I enjoyed my buy one get one free smoothie from Jamba Juice.

Final Thoughts

Kudos to The Americana at Brand for an amazing event.  Besides the points mentioned above, the Americana staff did an excellent job spreading Chinese culture by generously giving away red envelopes with one dollar and gifts from their vendors.

From Wikipedia, Red envelopes are given at social and family gatherings such as weddings or on holidays such as the Chinese New Year. The red color of the envelope symbolizes good luck and is supposed to ward off evil spirits.  On top of that, a dragon danced through the crowd with a gigantic Chinese lantern hanging overhead.  Thanks again to the Americana at Brand and Happy Chinese New Year!

Stay Inspired!
Buck

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8 Responses

  1. Arlee Bird says:

    I missed that but I wouldn’t have been thrilled with the long lines. I’d just like to go have some really good Chinese food but my wife doesn’t want to go to Chinese restaurants. Somehow she’s still hung up on the old rumors of some of the things they put in Chinese food. Those rumors have been around since I was a kid and I have no idea how it all got started. Sure, they sometimes eat some pretty strange things in China, but I don’t think you’re going to find any of it hidden in your meals in the U.S.

    Guess I’ll have to settle for Panda Express by myself now and then. I like Panda Express okay but I know I’m missing some pretty tasty cuisine from more upscale sit down eateries.

    Lee
    Wrote By Rote
    An A to Z Co-host blog

    • Buck Inspire says:

      I saw some crazy news reports that said China was making fake eggs to skimp on cost so I can understand your concern. But you are right, most Chinese restaurants in the US should be safe. As for food, it doesn’t even have to be upscale sit down eateries. Some places in Chinatown, Alhambra, and Monterey Park would run circles around Panda Express!

  2. This sounds AMAZING! I love when the different countries and cultures here are able to represent and celebrate their heritage. I noticed you didn’t mention about the food, outside of the smoothie, did you have any delicious samplings?

    • Buck Inspire says:

      Sadly, I didn’t mention food because there were no food booths like more traditional street fairs. I did have my fill (stinky tofu, beef sticks, and sweet and sour cabbage) at the Asian American Expo a few weeks back in Pomona. There were also food booths galore in Alhambra and Monterey Park celebrations.

  3. Untemplater says:

    I saw some beautiful red lanterns hung up in two trees in front of someone’s house today for Chinese New Year. The festivities are so neat and there are a lot in SF since we have a large Chinese community. Cultural celebrations definitely enrich our country and help people connect.

    • Buck Inspire says:

      So true Sydney! When I visited my friends a few years back up north, they took me to a Burmese festival. It was a blast learning about another culture and sampling their food!

  4. Troy says:

    Panda Express is 100% fake Chinese food – it’s like the Chinese food for non-Chinese people. If you really want Chinese food, you have to go to those cheap (excuse me) dumps. Really dirty, but the food is awesome!

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