USA News

Southland’s Lunar New Year celebrations go on after Monterey Park shooting

The Southland will once again celebrate the Lunar New Year this weekend, with multiple events set to take place across the region, despite the continued mourning and search for answers after a gunman killed 11 people inside a Monterey Park ballroom on Saturday, Jan. 21, as folks toasted the Year of the Rabbit.

The events will take place across Southern California, from downtown Los Angeles to Costa Mesa, from Riverside to Alhambra, where the gunman attempted to continue his killing spree before being thwarted by civilian hero Brandon Tsay.

There will be moments of silence for the victims. There will be increased security to make folks safe.

And, organizers say, there will be the chance for solace and healing.

After all, they say, the Lunar New Year – a traditionally 15-day holiday period celebrated by more than a billion people around the world and across multiple Asian cultures – is a time for hope.

“We recognize that this festival has always been a touchpoint for the community to gather, celebrate and take pride in its diversity,” said John Bwarie, CEO of the Alhambra Chamber of Commerce, which is organizing that city’s 29th annual festival. “We recognize the moment we’re in but we do want to find solace and gather for something positive and continue the healing process.”

Organizers are expecting a turnout of 20,000 people for the downtown Alhambra Festival, which will take place from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 29. But, Bwarie said, that could change.

The festival will feature the typical entertainment: lion dancers, live candy sculpting demos, activity booths, cultural pavilions and performances.

But, Bwarie said, a planned wellness pavilion will also be expanded –  offering mental health resources.

Tsay, who has been praised for stopping the gunman from killing more people at the Lai Lai Ballroom & Studio – which Tsay’s family operates – will receive a medal of courage from the Alhambra Police Department during the event.

The Police Department will also increase its visibility at the festival.

Other large events will do the same.

Organizers of the Lunar New Year Tet Festival, which will welcome the Year of the Cat at the Orange County fairgrounds this weekend, said they have been working closely with local law enforcement and venue officials to increase security.

Metal detectors and bag checks will be implemented at the door.

The festival will also have a moment of silence at 1 p.m. Saturday to honor the Monterey Park shooting victims, as well as all those impacted by the massacre.

Despite the recent tragedy, organizers said they expect more than 40,000 people to attend the festival, which will take place from Friday to Sunday, Jan. 27-29, at the OC Fair & Event Center, in Costa Mesa.

The Riverside Lunar Festival, hosted by Panana Events, will also go ahead as planned – also with beefed up security.

Officer Ryan Railsback, spokesperson for the Riverside Police Department, said that agency has increased the number of officers working security at the event.

File source

Show More

Related Articles

Back to top button