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Downtown Howell celebrates Asian New Year with winter festival and 5K

Lunar New Year logoThe 2nd Howell Lunar New Year Festival returns to downtown Howell Saturday, Feb. 21. This fun, family-oriented event highlights the downtown Howell community while offering an educational twist with exciting educational events at the Howell Opera House. And the popular Howell Dragon Run gives Howell residents and visitors a chance to get healthy and have fun with the 5K or 1 Mile Fun Run.

“This is the second year for Howell’s Lunar New Year Festival and with the help of Howell DDA Director, Cathleen Edgerly and her staff, we’re taking yet another step in our journey to help our community get a better understanding of some Asian cultures.” said photographer Richard Lim, the event’s originator. “There is an old Chinese proverb that says, ‘Tell me and I’ll forget; show me and I may remember; involve me and I’ll understand.’ We hope the activities of Feb 21st will bring us closer to understanding and that all of our attendees will have fun!”

Dragon Run 5K and Fun Run: The Dragon Run 5K and 1 Mile Fun Run, generously sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan returns to the grounds of Howell Public Schools Saturday, Feb. 21. New this year is a Fun Run 1 Mile run or walk beginning at 9:30 a.m., followed by the 5K at 10 a.m. Costumes are encouraged but not required. Playmakers will be on site with their fun van and members of the Howell Underground Running Team (HURT) will not only be running in the race, but helping coordinate this fun competitive winter race.

Lunar New Year Activities at the Howell Opera House: All Lunar New Year Festival family-friendly entertainment will take place at the Howell Opera House, 123 W. Grand River Ave., downtown Howell. Unless otherwise indicated, entertainment activities are FREE and open to the public!

Timeline of Activities:

• Noon – Blessing of the Businesses/Lion Dance: Don’t miss this unique Chinese cultural dance where performers mimic a lion’s movements in a lion costume! The Dance will take place at the Howell Opera House.

• 1-4 p.m. – Ceramic Studio: Make your own ceramics! The cost of each ceramic to paint & have fire glazed is $2-$15, depending on the ceramic that your child chooses.

• 1-2 p.m. – Ohana Karate: Karate demonstration

• 2-3 p.m. – Story Hour: Join popular Blue Frog Books owner Rob Vedro for story time at the Howell Opera House, featuring popular Asian themed children’s stories. Mayor Phillip Campbell will also read selected Asian children’s favorites.

• 3-4 p.m. – Interactive ‘Taste of Asia’ Childrens Activities: Experience a taste of Asia through a variety of hands-on activities, involving calligraphy, trying on traditional clothing (bring your own photo device), children’s toys and games, and more! Try your hand at our chopstick challenge and enjoy the photos from 2014’s event at the Howell Carnegie District Library!!

• 4:30 p.m. – The Great Foodini Cooking Demonstration: Renee Chodkowski, the Great Foodini, will demonstrate the best easy stir-fry techniques. This is a ticketed event and includes an Asian themed dinner from popular downtown restaurants!

• 5:30 p.m. – Dinner: Grab your family and friends to come dine in the historic Opera House. The menu includes some of Downtown Howell’s finest Asian cuisine, followed by a orchestra performance with the Silk Road Chinese Orchestra from Michigan State University. Tickets are $20 and include the cooking demonstration, dinner, and orchestra performance. Purchase your tickets today online at:

• Celebrating the Year of the Ram, this is the second Lunar New Year Festival coordinated by the Howell Main Street DDA in conjunction with Richard Lim Photography, Livingston Arts Council, and the Howell Carnegie Library. The 2015 Lunar New Year Festivities are generously sponsored by Citizens Insurance, Howell Opera House, MSU Asian Studies, Ann Arbor Spark, Jonna’s Market, Dr Daniel’s Family Orthodontics, Beauchamp Water Supply, Amerispec Home Inspections, Ohana Karate, Blue Frog Books, Mitch Fleming Photography, Hell Creek Forge, J.J. Jinkleheimer, The Ceramic Studio, and Carriage House Designs.

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