Every year Jacksonville hosts the Chinese New Year celebration, tying its small town charm in with traditional Chinese culture making for a great fun-filled day of family activities. We try to make it out to the celebration because it gets better and better each time. This year it is on Saturday, February 9th, 2019.
The day starts off at 10am with our personal favorite, the Chinese New Year Parade. The parade consists of lots of music, dancing and child friendly entertainment; complete with dancing lions and dragons. Our kids always enjoy watching the show; seeing all of the beautiful, ethnic costumes and different musical instruments, sometimes even participating by dancing to the music. It is a pretty fast-paced parade so it goes by quickly and the kids don’t get bored.
After the parade we love to walk around downtown looking at all the trinkets at the vendor booths and getting a bite to eat. One year we stopped into the calligraphy demonstration and were able to get our names written in Chinese and at Scheffel's Toys we bought our own, personal Chinese dragon to take home. There are also cooking, Kung Fu and Feng shui demonstrations and special talks by local historians in various locations that we always walk away from having learned something new. And just when the kids are getting antsy we take them to do arts and crafts or to the bounce houses to get out some energy.
The whole day is a community tradition that brings us all out to gather, enjoy our beautiful, diverse weather and almost acts as an unofficial beginning to spring. For more details on the day, head over to the SOCCA website where the full itinerary is. We hope you get to enjoy this enchanting annual tradition and as the Chinese say, "Gong Xi Fa Cai"
If you would like to be a part of the parade, register HERE.