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Chinese New Year celebrated in park
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Photo by JIM LAYFIELD
Students from the Tampa Chinese School perform a lion dance, above, and a dragon dance, at left, during the Chinese New Year celebration at Largo Central Park Feb. 2.
LARGO – More than 2,000 people attended Tampa Bay’s first Chinese New Year celebration in Largo Central Park Feb, 2, organized by Suncoast Association of Chinese Americans and the Chinese-American Association of Tampa Bay.

“It was considered very successful,” said Jessica Tien, spokeswoman for the organizations.

“We received a lot of congratulation. A lot of praises.”

The four-hour program featured the dragon and lion dances, folk dances, kung fu demonstrations and Chinese music as well as games, food and arts.

The Chinese New Year officially begins Sunday, Feb. 10. In Chinese tradition, 2013 is the year of the snake, which symbolizes wisdom and good business. People born in a year of the snake which happens every 12 years, are said to be intelligent, insightful and influential.

The year also marks the first time the local Chinese organizations tried to host an outdoor event.

The groups are already negotiating with Largo for use of the park next year, Tien said.

“We really love the venue,” she added.
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