Feb. 10, 2022 By Michael Dorgan
The Long Island City Partnership hosted a family-friendly event on Jackson Avenue Wednesday as part of its Lunar New Year celebrations.
The event was held to announce that local businesses are extending promotions and deals until the end of this month. The partnership has been running the Lunar New Year series since Jan. 24 and they were supposed to end on Feb. 6.
Around 150 residents gathered at 26-15 Jackson Ave., an outdoor space situated next to Xi’an Famous Foods restaurant, to take part in mask-making, calligraphy and prize wheel competitions.
There was also a traditional lion and buddha entertaining children. A large arch consisting of red and gold-colored balloons was erected in front of the space.
Council Member Julie Won attended the event, along with representatives for Queens Borough President Donovan Richards and Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney. Several local business owners were also present.
Around 40 local businesses will continue to offer promotions and deals through Feb. 28, organizers said. More than 60 businesses signed up for the initial series.
Organizers said they decided to extend the series after receiving positive feedback from business owners and customers.
“Our ongoing celebration is a testament to the strong sense of community in Long Island City,” said Elizabeth Lusskin, president of the LIC Partnership.
The promotions are part of the LIC Partnership’s first-ever Lunar New Year celebrations to honor Long Island City’s growing Asian community. The Lunar New Year marks the beginning of a calendar year for those who follow the lunar calendar. It is one of the most important holidays in East Asian countries and is celebrated worldwide.
Lusskin said that the extended celebrations would help lift community spirits, given the Partnership’s plans for a large lion dance along Jackson Avenue last month had to be canceled due to bad weather.
Won, who is originally from South Korea, said that Lunar New Year is celebrated by many Asian-Americans. She compared it to Christmas for people of Asian descent.
“Instead of presents we’re getting envelopes of money,” Won said, noting that Asian Americans often give traditional, red-colored envelopes to friends and family to mark the occasion.
Children at the event Wednesday were also given red-colored envelopes by organizers.
The Lunar New Year, Won said, is an important event for Long Island City residents, given the growth of the Asian American population in the neighborhood.
“So, we know that this is a huge celebration that will continue to be part of our community,” Won said.
“And we will continue to celebrate all Asian American businesses.”