New website makes it easier to celebrate Lunar New Year

Site brings Lunar New Year event and festival listings in Vancouver and Richmond together in one place

Whether you call it Chinese New Year, Spring Festival or Lunar New Year, there is no denying it’s one of the world’s most celebrated annual events and Richmond and Vancouver have long been known for their numerous celebrations. With festivities ranging from parades, to lantern festivals to culinary extravaganzas, the Lower Mainland has been named one of the top places in the world to celebrate Chinese New Year by Travel + Leisure, Fodor’s, MSN and other media.  
And now, a new website aims to make it easy for locals and visitors to discover the wealth of events taking place in both Vancouver and Richmond over the Lunar New Year period.
The new website — LunarFestival.com —  was created by Tourism Vancouver and Tourism Richmond with counsel from the Asian-Canadian Special Events Association (organizers of LunarFest and TaiwanFest), Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden, River Rock Casino Resort and other partners. 
“We are very pleased to be partnering with Tourism Richmond on this initiative” said Ty Speer, president of Tourism Vancouver. “It further showcases the year-round vibrancy of our region and is a platform with which to invite the world to join us in our destination to celebrate the Lunar New Year.”  
Bruce Okabe, chief executive officer of Tourism Richmond, said there are a wealth of events and festivals happening during the Lunar New Year in both Richmond and Vancouver.
“Creating a one-stop shop for visitors and locals to plan their Lunar New Year experience made sense. As the festival grows in programming and recognition, we’ll be able to provide better and better destination experiences for locals and travelers worldwide.” 
Event producers are able to upload their events onto the LunarFestival.com website with a few clicks. This year, the Lunar New Year begins on Feb. 17, but many festival events are beginning at the start of the month.
There are already more than 30 events and performances listed on the website and some highlights include:
• 45th Annual Vancouver Chinatown Spring Festival Parade — Feb. 18
• Temple Fair at Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Garden —  Feb. 18
• Lanterns in the Garden at the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden — various dates
• Lunarfest at Oakridge Centre — Feb. 8-26
• Chinese New Year Flower and Gift Fair at Aberdeen Centre — Feb. 9 to 18
• Chinese New Year of the Dog 2018 Arts Festival — Feb.10 to 23
• Lulu Island Winery Guided Tour — Feb. 15 to 25
• Tibetan Lunar New Year Celebration at Thrangu Monastery — Feb. 16
• LunarFest and Ballet Productions Canada Society’s “The Butterfly Lovers” — Feb. 16
• Celebrating Chinese New Year of the Dog 2018 at International Village — Feb. 16 to 18  
• Lunar New Year Celebration at River Rock Casino Resort — Feb. 16
• Lunar New Year Celebrations at Granville Island — Feb. 17
• Lunar New Year at Lonsdale Quay Market — Feb. 17
• Lunarfest: A Celebration for Dogs! (and dog lovers), Vancouver Art Gallery — Feb. 18
• Flyover Canada Flight of the Dragon — now through Feb. 18
• Lunarfest 2018 at the Vancouver Art Gallery Plaza — Feb. 18 and 24 to 25

sthomas@vancourier.com

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@sthomas10

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