According to the calendar of the Lunar New Year, 2020 is the Year of the Rat - the first sign of the zodiac. And there are plenty of options hosted by Denver’s thriving Asian-American community to help ring in the new year.
“This year will be our 17th annual Lunar New Year event, which is our major fundraiser of year,” said Tarika Cefkin, executive director of the Nathan Yip Foundation. “The event is a great opportunity for us to share Chinese culture and raise funds for the work we do with rural schools in Colorado.”
The Nathan Yip Foundation’s The Year of the Rat party will begin at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 8 at the Grand Hyatt, 1750 Welton St. And while it’s one of the largest Lunar New Year parties, it is far from the only option. Others include:
2020 Colorado Chinese New Year Celebration at The Potter’s House Church of Denver, 9495 E. Florida Ave. in Denver. The event is from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 25, and includes several free options, like a cultural fair, taste of China and marketplace.
2020 Chinese New Year Cultural Fair at the Southridge Recreation Center, 4800 McArthur Ranch Road in Highlands Ranch. The free fair is from noon to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 25, and there’s also a special paid performance by the Great Wall Chinese Academy from 2 to 3 p.m., with dragon and lion dances, martial arts and music.
Lunar New Year Celebration at Sharetea Westminster, 5684 W. 88th Ave. The celebration is from 1 to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 1, featuring performances by Nguyen Thieu Lion Dance, which include a lion dance, drum show and more.
After 17 years, Cefkin said the Nathan Yip Foundation’s event has taken on the feel of a family affair, with foundation founders Jimmy and Linda Yip greeting guests as they arrive. From there attendees will be treated to world-class performers, a karaoke stage, silent disco, fortunetellers, Chinese calligrapher, portrait artists and an authentic and interactive Chinese Night Market.
“Of course, a big part of the event is the family-style meal,” Cefkin said. “You get to make new friends and share a meal with people. It all feels very much like a warm, homecoming family meal.”
There’s an added bonus that by attending the event, attendees are helping students in need in struggling communities. Supported projects include a project in the San Luis Valley that allows teachers to go to family homes for parent teacher conferences, which builds a stronger communication system and makes it easier for parents.
“There are so many nonprofit events happening all year, we really try to make this one fun,” Cefkin said. “With the afterparty, night market, and all the other activities, we want people to leave not only feeling like they supported a great cause, but also got a great experience out of it.”
Go to www.nathanyipfoundation.org/event/chinese-new-year-party for tickets and more information.
Clarke’s Concert of the Week - Q-Tip at Mission Ballroom
If you’re a fan of rap, you’re a fan of Q-Tip. The man has made a massive impact on the genre, whether it’s as a performer with A Tribe Called Quest or on his own, or producing for greats including Busta Rhymes, Kanye West, Solange and last year’s fantastic Danny Brown album.
The man, the myth, the legend will be performing at the Mission Ballroom, 4242 Wynkoop St. in Denver, at 8 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 24.
Q-Tip will be joined by some special quests, and this is a chance to see some living, breathing rap royalty. Get tickets at www.missionballroom.com.
Welcome the 20s by celebrating the 20s
It’s fitting that since we’ve all just entered the 20s, Stanley Marketplace should kick off the decade with the fifth annual Speakeasy Soiree.
Hosted from 7:30 to 11:30 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 25, at the market, 2501 N. Dallas St. in Aurora, this trip to the 1920s will feature live swing music from several performers, vintage vendors, drinks and food, dancing (swing, aerial and Charleston lessons) and more. Attendees are encouraged to dress in their best Gatsby flappers and suits
The event benefits Youth on Record, a non-profit empowering youth to make life choices that positively impact their future. Details can be found at www.SpeakeasySoiree.com.
Prepare Tom Petty’s torpedoes at Lone Tree
As part of the Lone Tree Arts Center’s ever-popular Classic Albums Live series, musicians will be performing Tom Petty’s album, “Damn the Torpedoes.” The concert will be held at the center, 10075 Commons St., at 8 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 25.
Performers in this series don’t rely on lookalikes or make-up to recreate the concert experience — they just immaculately recreate your favorite tunes. “Torpedoes” includes “Refugee,” and “Here Comes My Girl” - one of Petty’s most joyous and life-affirming love songs, which wonderfully captures how transcendent love can be.
Get tickets at www.lonetreeartscenter.org.
Clarke Reader’s column on culture appears on a weekly basis. He can be reached at Clarke.Reader@hotmail.com.
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