Akron Celebrates Lunar New Year 2023 with Downtown Akron Partnership event, Jan. 28

Image courtesy Downtown Akron Partnership

The Lunar New Year, traditionally observed in Chinese culture, is being celebrated by families and organizations throughout the Akron Community. Students at the University of Akron kicked off the Lunar New Year on Monday, Jan. 23 with a diversity event held by Zips Programming Network (ZPN). But Akron-area celebrations aren’t done yet.  

On Saturday, Jan. 28 from 4:30 – 8:00 p.m., Downtown Akron Partnerships (DAP) is hosting a Lunar New Year Celebration at the Akron Civic Theater located at 182 South Main St.   

The free event includes food and beverages, provided in the theatre lobby, along with a variety of free activities and cultural performances. Akron Children’s Museum will lead a Paper Lantern craft and The University of Akron has provided T-shirts to give away (while supplies last). 

This year (2023) marks the Year of the Rabbit. The Rabbit, a Chinese Zodiac sign, is a part of the Western Calendar where each year is represented by an animal. Lunar New Year is traditionally celebrated by Chinese culture on Jan. 22, or as a 15-day festival to mark the beginning of the new moon which will occur between Jan. 21 and Feb. 20 based on the Western Calendar.  

The inaugural Lunar New Year celebration in downtown Akron took place last February and drew an estimated 1,100 people. This year’s attendance is expected to be higher. The event is free and open to all. Seating at the Akron Civic Theatre for this event is first come, first served. 

“The Downtown Akron Lunar New Year Celebration is presented in partnership with several local Asian groups and individuals who have helped us arrange and schedule cultural performances, including the Lion Dance, Dragon Dance, martial arts demos, waist-drum performers, face-changer, and more,” Dominic Caruso, DAP communications director, said.  

DAP will also be offering the traditional Red Envelope activity as a giveaway for participating guests. In Chinese culture, red envelopes symbolize good luck and are gifted to others, often filled with money and or an expression of well wishes.  

The free event will wrap up with a series of cultural performances and a 10-minute Fireworks display to ring in the Year of the Rabbit. 

Image Courtesy Downtown Akron PartnershipEvent Performance Groups include:

NIHF STEM Students Dragon Dance
Kwan Family Lion Dance
Master Gao Martial Arts Demonstration
Akron Chinese Heritage School Children’s Play
NIHF STEM Students Umbrella Dance
Ka’Ren Traditional Bamboo Dance
Glory Drum Team of Cleveland
Stellar Acrobatic Dance Academy
Master Zhang and Akron Wutan Martial Arts Center
NIHF STEM Students Chinese Dress Fashion Show
Doors for this event open at 4:30 p.m. and the house seating will begin at 5:30 p.m. with performances starting at 6:00 p.m. Fireworks can be viewed from Main St. or the terrace areas of Lock 3 kicking off at 7:30 p.m  

View the Downtown Akron Partnership event website for more information on METRO transportation, nearby dining and details of Lunar New Year Celebration supporters.