In its eighth year, performers from the Great Wall Chinese Academy will once again put on a show for Highlands Ranch residents on Feb. 8.
“It's a very, very rich culture experience,” Jaime Noebel, Highlands Ranch Community Association spokesperson, said. “It's a really cool event.”
The academy partners with the HRCA every year to host a Chinese New Year celebration at the Southridge Recreation Center, 4800 McArthur Ranch Road. This year's event starts at noon and runs until 5:30 p.m., with stage performances from 1-2 p.m. and 4-5 p.m. in the Debus Wildcat Mountain Auditorium.
“It is an event designed to celebrate the diversities of our community and promote multicultural awareness among locals. It is a joyful event for families and people of all ages,” organizer Mei Chang said.
This year's event celebrates the Year of the Dragon. Stage performances will showcase lion dances, Chinese folk dances, traditional music and instruments, martial arts demonstrations and a children's chorus.
“The planning for Chinese New Year starts right after the previous Chinese New Year show ends. The students in Great Wall Chinese Academy learn Chinese languages and culture year-around on Sundays,” Chang said, adding that the young performers learn new dances, Kung Fu moves, yo-yo tricks and new songs.
“The performers have so much talent and years of training. It is a wonderful journey for all the young students involved,” Chang said. “The stage performance opens a window to China for audiences to see a variety of folk arts forms from China by talented performers from Great Wall Chinese Academy and local schools.”
The culture fair will feature traditional folk art, Chinese costumes, crafts, on-sight calligraphy and brush paintings, Chinese shops, Chinese New Year refreshments and food including, dumplings, rolls, balls noodles, rice and more.
This year, Chang said there are plans to make more dumplings, which are a crowd favorite.
“They are always gone first and fast,” Chang said. “The culture fair brings people to a little China town, shopping for favorites, on-sight calligraphy, handcrafts, tastes of all kinds of Chinese refreshments.”
In line with tradition, children who attend will get a red envelope at the door containing a blessing for the new year.
Tickets are $7 and are available at any HRCA recreation center or by calling 303-471-8859. Tickets will also be available at the door if not sold out prior to the event. For more information, call 303-791-2500 or visit www.hrcaonline.org.