Feb 12, 201512:06 PMThe Weekender

Ring in the new year (again) at Little Saigon's inaugural Lunar Flower Fest

Ring in the new year (again) at Little Saigon's inaugural Lunar Flower Fest

If New Year’s festivities are your favorite kind of celebration, then the denizens of Little Saigon Plaza—a growing cultural destination on Stockton Boulevard—have you covered all weekend with their inaugural Lunar Flower Fest.

Coming to the plaza on Feb. 14 and 15, the festival invites guests from around the region to participate in traditional preparations for the Lunar New Year holiday on Feb. 19. Popularly known as Chinese New Year, the colorful multicultural celebration (observed by the area’s Korean and Vietnamese communities as well) recognizes the first day of the lunar calendar.

With a goal of promoting diversity and supporting local businesses, Greater Sacramento Vietnamese American Chamber of Commerce president Mai Nguyen says her organization devised a community-building event that also serves as a one-stop shop for holiday needs.

“We really want to help promote the Little Saigon district and highlight the tradition of getting all your goods for the New Year,” Nguyen says. “Going out to shop for flowers and pastries like earth cakes (sticky rice cakes filled with pork and mung beans) is a Vietnamese tradition.”

The Lunar Flower Fest is intended to replicate the bustling atmosphere of a Vietnamese street marketplace, featuring more than 40 local vendors selling a variety of festive items including traditional Vietnamese dresses, fresh produce, toys, tangerine and kumquat trees (symbols of happiness and wealth), and of course, fresh flowers.

An opening ceremony with dragon dancing will kick off day one on Saturday at 11 a.m. A fundraising poker tournament, a sing-off, traditional Vietnamese food trucks, and a car exhibit are just a few of the weekend’s other activities.

Free. Feb. 14. (10 a.m.- 8 p.m.), Feb. 15 (10 a.m.- 6 p.m.). 6820 Stockton Blvd. 524-1394. gsvacc.org

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