To celebrate the Year of the Horse in the Chinese zodiac that began Jan. 31, several events are scheduled throughout the Las Vegas Valley.
The third annual Chinese New Year in the Desert festival is set to take place Feb. 7-9 at the Fremont Street Experience.
According to Jan-le Low, an event organizer for Golden Catalyst, the horse is a vibrant creature.
“The horse is clever, smart and full of energy,” Low said. “It brings prosperity and perseverance.”
Mayor Carolyn Goodman is set to host an opening ceremony at 6:30 p.m. Feb. 7 on the 3rd Street Stage. The ceremony will include a performance by the Desert Winds ensemble and a dragon dance by the Lohan School of Shaolin.
A two-hour Zumbathon is scheduled for 1 p.m. Feb. 8 as instructors and participants attempt to break the Guinness World Record for the largest Zumba class. Registration is required to participate.
“The current record is held in India with 6,671 participants,” Low said. “All we need is 6,672 for a half-hour to break the record.”
The McDonald’s Las Vegas Spring Festival Parade is planned for 11 a.m. Feb. 9 on Fourth Street from Gass to Ogden avenues. Registration is required to participate.
“We’re excited to include many high school bands from Clark County School District and many cultural organizations,” Low said. “We’re also very excited that Gov. Sandoval will be joining us.”
In addition, the festival is set to have 25 food vendors and 35 performers from around the world.
“We plan to have vendors serving Chinese, Indian, Filipino, Japanese, Hawaiian food and even Latina food,” Low said. “We’re attracting many Latinos because Zumba is based on Latin dances. So we will be offering a world of flavors.”
The festival is scheduled from 6 to 10 p.m. Feb. 7, noon to 10 p.m. Feb. 8 and 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Feb. 9. The event is free and open to the public.
“The city of Las Vegas is known for its entertainment,” Low said. “It’s nice to be able to bring some culture into the city, especially downtown.”
For more information or to register, visit cnyinthedesert.com.
The Gold Coast, 4000 W. Flamingo Road, is set to celebrate the Chinese New Year with offerings of good luck.
According to the casino’s director of marketing, Mike Musicaro, the celebration is set to start Feb. 5 with two dragon dances by the Lohan School of Shaolin at 7:30 and 10 p.m.
“There will be characters in the dance who will toss lettuce into the dragon’s mouth and into the audience,” Musicaro said. “If you get hit with the lettuce, it’s said to be good luck.”
Candy is also set to be offered at the gaming tables and tangerine trees to be displayed throughout the casino floor.
“We’ve ordered cases of tangerines to replace the ones on the trees,” Musicaro said. “People like to take them for good luck.”
A three-day gaming promotion is set for Feb. 7-9 for guests 21 or older. About every 15 minutes a winner will be selected to choose a red envelope containing $25 to $1,000. The casino expects to give away $8,800 to 88 winners each day because eight is considered a lucky number, Musicaro said.
“Chinatown is a block away from us, and we feel the need to embrace (the holiday),” Musicaro said. “It’s important to understand the culture and community that surrounds us.”
For more information, call 702-367-7111.
The Chinese American Chamber of Commerce is set to host a celebration from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Feb. 9 at the Chinatown Plaza, 4255 Spring Mountain Road.
In its 20th year, the celebration is expected to attract 7,000 attendees, according to organizer Cherry Bin.
“We’ll have lots of different styles of performances and food,” Bin said.
In addition, Chinese arts and crafts, fortunetellers, games and retail vendors are scheduled.
“It’s the biggest event in Chinese culture,” Bin said. “It’s really important to celebrate.”
Tickets cost $3 for adults and $1 for children 6 to 12. Children 5 or younger are free.
For more information, call 702-221-8448.
THE WYNN AND MGM PROPERTIES
The Wynn, 3131 Las Vegas Blvd. South, is scheduled to display three 800-pound Tang Dynasty horses through Feb. 14.
The 9-foot-tall horses were designed and painted by Sillipachai Toonrud of Forte Specialty Contractors. They are set to be displayed in the Wynn atrium and in the garden outside the baccarat area at Encore.
MGM Resorts International is set also to celebrate the Chinese New Year with sculptures and garden displays at the Bellagio, the MGM Grand, Aria and The Shops at Crystals.
Contact Southwest/Spring Valley View reporter Caitlyn Belcher at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-383-0403.