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Celebrating Community: Lunar New Year Events Across AD18

Dear Friends,

I’m incredibly proud to celebrate Lunar New Year across Assembly District 18. For many in the district, Lunar New Year marks the arrival of spring in the lunisolar calendar and is celebrated widely by communities with roots in China, South Korea, and Vietnam.

This Lunar New Year inspired incredible events across the district, from solidarity celebrations hosted by the Asian Cultural Center in Oakland to lion dancing and crafts in Emeryville to the 2nd year return of the Chinatown Lunar New Year Parade after a 50-year hiatus. I’m grateful for these opportunities for our neighbors to gather in joy and cultural appreciation at a time when more joy is needed. 

In many cultures, the Lunar New Year, also known as chunjie (春节) or the Spring Festival, is celebrated over 16 days filled with family time, enjoyment of open-air markets, and firework displays. Within this newsletter, I’ve compiled an itinerary full of events and activities, including Lunar New Year events in Oakland’s Laurel District, Jack London Square, and much more.

Additionally, this marks the beginning of the Year of the Dragon in the Chinese zodiac calendar. The dragon can symbolize honor, strength, luck, and success; these are all attributes I look forward to carrying into the new legislative session. I hope to see you all out in the community and wish you a very happy Lunar New Year.

Yours in Service,

Assemblymember Bonta signature

Mia Bonta
Assemblymember, 18th District

In this newsletter, you'll find the following information:

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Section 1: Lunar New Year Events in AD18

Section 1A: 23rd Annual Lunar New Year at OMCA

Come join us to celebrate and honor Lunar New Year at the Oakland Museum of California (OMCA) through family-friendly storytelling, performances, activities, and more. Come together to uplift AAPI communities and explore the shared connections between Asian cultures of the Bay Area.

Festival tickets include access to all Lunar New Year performances and activities, entry to all of our galleries as well as a special exhibition, Por el Pueblo: The Legacy and Influence of Malaquías Montoya. Children under 12 are free with advance reservations.

When: Saturday, February 17, at 11 a.m.
Where: Oakland Museum of California, 1000 Oak St., Oakland

Section 1B: Laurel Lunar New Year Lion Dance Procession

New Year Lion Dance Procession Graphic

Celebrate Lunar New Year in The Laurel with a traditional Lion Dance Procession and blessing of businesses! Come to the RE/MAX Parking Lot for a blessing, then follow the Lion Dance procession as it visits businesses along MacArthur Boulevard from 35th Avenue to High Street in Oakland's Laurel District. Free and family-friendly!

When: Saturday, February 17, from 2:30 - 6 p.m.
Where: Between 4232 MacArthur Blvd and 3824 MacArthur Blvd, Oakland CA

Section 1C: LNY Celebration at Oakland Public Library

Come to the library for a Lunar New Year Celebration! We will have a Lunar New Year-themed storytime, fun craft activities for all ages, brush painting with Pauline Tsui, and a Lion Dance performance. Activities will take place in both the Main Library Children's Room and the Bradley Walters Community Meeting Room. Light refreshments will be served. 

When: Saturday, February 17, from 10:30 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Where: Oakland Public Library, 4232 MacArthur Blvd.

Section 1D: 2nd Annual OCIC LNY Parade

Lunar New Year Parade Graphic

After the Oakland Chinatown Improvement Council’s 2023 parade brought Oakland Chinatown's Lunar New Year Parade back after a 50-year hiatus, the OCIC is continuing the tradition! Bring your enthusiasm, come dressed in your most festive outfit, and support the community!

The Parade will begin and end at Wilma Chan Park. There will be plenty of opportunities to cheer on the participants. 

When: February 18, 11 a.m. - 1 p.m.
Where: Wilma Chan Park, 810 Jackson St, Oakland

Section 1E: Year of the Dragon Waterfront Celebration at Jack London

Jack London Square will be celebrating the “Year of the Dragon” with a fun-filled Lunar New Year event! This free event will include lion dancers, martial arts performances, kids' crafts, photo opportunities and giveaways.

No pre-registration is required; invite your friends and family!

When: Saturday, February 10, from 1 - 3 p.m.
Where: Jack London Square, 472 Water St, Oakland

Section 1F: Arts & Crafts for Lunar New Year and Black History Month

Come enjoy a free, family-friendly arts and crafts extravaganza to celebrate two February multicultural events: Lunar New Year and Black History Month! Participants can make fabric quilt squares in the style of Black quilt artists like Faith Ringgold and create dragon hand puppets for the Year of the Dragon. Pre-registration is appreciated to plan for supplies but walk-ups are welcome with space available.

Register for the event

When: Friday, February 16, from 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Where: Emeryville Public Market, 5959 Shellmound St, Emeryville

Section 1G: CAL VSA Lion Dance on Bay Street, Emeryville

Enjoy a performance from the Cal VSA Lion Dance Team – UC Berkeley’s student lion dance team. The event will feature street vendors and other Year of the Dragon festivities.

When: Sunday, February 18, from 1 - 4 p.m.
Where: 5616 Bay Street, Emeryville

Section 2: State of California Grants

Section 2A: Apply Now - Trusted Messenger Grants

Office of Community Partnerships and Strategic Communications Logo

On January 31, 2024, the Governor's Office of Planning and Research (OPR), announced $70 million in funding available to support the Trusted Messenger program to ensure under-resourced communities have access to high-priority information.

The grant will be awarded to community-based organizations who can advocate for the adoption of beneficial resources within their communities. Some potential topics could include, but are not limited to, COVID-19 vaccines, climate justice, water conservation, and extreme heat preparedness. Learn more here.

Applications must be submitted through the online application tool on or before February 14, 2024, at 5 p.m.


Section 3: Community Resources

Section 3A: Women in Manufacturing Skilled Trades Symposium

Come and spend a day meeting with other manufacturers and educators to discuss how to recruit more women into the manufacturing skilled trades. This will also be the beginning of a regional conversation to determine how we can improve the recruitment of women into these careers. We will have speakers and panelists to discuss best practices.

This event is catered towards manufacturers (HR, technical hiring managers and those who create company strategy for outreach and hiring); educators in community colleges and K-12 who develop programs, recruit students, or work with students on career choices; and workforce development professionals working with clients to find new careers. If you would like to attend, please fill out an interest form online.

When: Friday, February 23, from 9 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.
Where: Ohlone College, 43600 Mission Blvd, Fremont

Section 3B: Northeastern Scholarship for Oakland High School Students

Beginning in the fall of 2024, Northeastern University will award up to 10 full tuition, room and board scholarships annually to seniors graduating from an Oakland Unified School District high school and Pell Grant-eligible residents of Oakland, California.

Each Oakland Unified School District high school may nominate up to two candidates for the scholarships. Additional candidates may also be identified through Northeastern’s general application evaluation process. Applicants must have extensive engagement in their local school communities and a commitment to service in the city of Oakland.

In addition to the Oakland Opportunity Scholarships, Northeastern is also waiving the application fee for all applicants currently attending Oakland Unified School District high schools. 

For more information, please contact or click here.