Dragons danced to the drums as spectators cheered on Feb. 17 at the Eighth Annual Dragon Parade Lunar New Year Festival.
The event, highlighting the beginning of the year of the pig, drew spectators to soak in the culture of Orlando’s Asian and Asian-American community. Mykel Lee, 32, said this was his third year attending the event and that it was set up better than previous years.
“I really enjoy the authenticity,” he said. “I’m drinking some Thai Tea right now.”
A parade made its way through downtown and ended near the Mills 50 district, near the many Vietnamese restaurants and markets on Colonial Drive. The party began with the Eye Dotting Ceremony by Wah Lum Temple which climaxed with performers dressed as an elaborate dragon dancing across the stage.
The event drew many local representatives including Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings, Florida House Representative Anna Eskamani, Orlando Police Chief Orlando Rolon and Orange County Sheriff John Mina.
We spoke to members of the Professional Asian American Network at Lockheed Martin who came to the festival to soak in the culture and performances.
“The food and the atmosphere is what I liked,” Yuanxia Lee said. “It feels like the community is really coming together.”