They had a parade….and it rained on their parade. But it was a New Year and no one cared! It was the Chinese New Year in New York City’s Chinatown.
The festivities started a week earlier with a spectacular fireworks display on the Hudson.
The next morning 600,000 firecrackers were set off in Sara Roosevelt Park to chase away all the evil spirits.
After the evil spirits were gone there was dancing in the streets, singing in the park and confetti poppers filled the air with a glittery rain. Children ran with Silly String canisters spraying other children. The joyful sounds of screeching and laughter.
Red is the color of good luck and this is the year of the Dog. There were red stuffed puppy dogs everywhere! The basketball courts and sidewalks in and around Roosevelt Park and along Chrystie and Forsythe Streets were carpeted with the colorful confetti.
Characters in brightly colored costumes of native dress posed for pictures taken by the awestruck tourists.
Dragons danced through the crowds and around the park. Costumed puppy dogs played with the children. The New Year celebration was in full swing! All we had to do was wait for the official parade.
When it was time for the parade, it was nowhere to be found. I walked the length of Sara Roosevelt Park up Chrystie and down Forsythe. No parade. I expanded out a block in both directions. I was ready to give up.
I was beginning to think the police were giving me false directions just to watch me walk off on a futile wild goose chase.
Just as I was giving up and heading to the subway station, the NYPD marching band turned a corner and came marching straight toward me. I had a front row seat to the entire parade. I was a kid again and it was unbelievable!
Marching bands, bagpipe bands, Golden Dragons, Chinese Civic groups, drummers, cymbals, big Dogs, Red Dragons, hooded feather dancers, floats, fire engines, Green Dragons, singers and throngs of waving parade goers. This parade had everything and Dragons. I guess China had a dragon problem a long time ago.
Yes, it rained on the Chinese New Year Parade but no one cared. There was too much fun to be had!
What about you? Did you ring in the new year? Do you have a happy dog? Do you believe in Dragons?