Fremont Street Experience, the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) and Golden Catalyst invite the public to celebrate the Year of the Horse during the third annual Chinese New Year in the Desert festival. Ring in the Chinese New Year with a three-day festival taking place in Downtown Las Vegas Feb. 7 – 9, 2014. Chinese New Year is the most important of the traditional Chinese holidays and is known as “Spring Festival” in China, “Tet New Year” in Vietnamese and “Seol-lal” in Korea.
Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn G. Goodman will kick-off the festivities during the opening ceremonies which will feature The Desert Winds, a premiere contemporary wind ensemble of more than fifty professional woodwind, brass, and percussionists and a live authentic dragon dance by the Las Vegas Lohan School of Shaolin. Throughout the weekend guests will also experience live International Cultural Performances; taste authentic dishes from around the world in the International Vendor Village; enjoy live concerts by Victoria Zhong Wei, Henry Chuc, Kevin Khoa, Gloria Papin, and the Society of Seven during the DragonFest concert series; join Dr. Teddy Sim, Jaqueline Andrea, and the Las Vegas Zumba® Crew as they attempt to make history by breaking the Guinness World Record for the Largest Zumba® Class; view stunning parade floats in the McDonald’s Las Vegas Spring Festival Parade; and along with students from Clark County School District, guests are also invited to create their own lantern to display on Fremont Street Experience to commemorate the Lunar Lantern Festival.
“Fremont Street Experience is proud to have hosted the Chinese New Year in the Desert festival since it began two years ago,” said Jeff Victor, president of Fremont Street Experience. “Now in its third year, the festival has become an important tradition here in Downtown Las Vegas. We invite everyone to join us once again as we continue to honor this important holiday with a three day celebration to usher in the Year of the Horse.”
“Las Vegas is very pleased to usher in the Year of the Horse with an assortment of cultural amenities, attractions and celebrations,” said Michael Goldsmith, Vice President of International Sales for the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority. “China is an important market for the destination as it is our number one source of international travel from Asia.”
“Our mission is to host the largest Chinese New Year celebration in the U.S. to Las Vegas,” said Jan-Ie Low of Golden Catalyst. “We are doing it by uniting our community at all levels: locally, nationally, and internationally. To top it off, we are creating economic value in the form of tourism, sales, and jobs for all involved.”
Opening Ceremonies – Friday, Feb. 7 at 6:30 p.m. on the 3rd Street Stage
Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn G. Goodman will help kick-off the New Year by participating in the Opening Ceremonies and ribbon cutting on Friday, Feb. 7 at 6:30 p.m. on the 3rd Street Stage (next to the D, Four Queens and Fremont). The New Year will be greeted with a performance from wind ensemble The Desert Winds and a live authentic dragon dance by Las Vegas Lohan School of Shaolin complete with virtual firecrackers on Viva Vision (the largest video screen in the world measuring 1,500 feet long and suspended 90 feet above the street), an eye painting ceremony and performers dressed in elaborate costumes.
International Vendor Village and Cultural Performances
Throughout the three-day festival, guests will be taken on a journey around the world as they experience performances from various Asian entertainers on the 3rd Street Stage and visit the International Vendor Village, located on 3rd Street North between Fremont Street and Stewart Avenue, to taste the international flavors from renown food vendors. The International Vendor Village and Cultural Performances will take place on Friday, Feb. 7 from 5-10 p.m. and Saturday, Feb. 8 from noon-10 p.m., and Sunday, Feb. 9 from noon-9 p.m.
DragonFest Concert Series
Known for providing free nightly entertainment, Fremont Street Experience’s 3rd Street Stage will host a three-day DragonFest concert series featuring free performances with artists from China, Vietnam, Thailand, and the Philippines. Additionally, V.I.P. seating is available for $10 per day or $25 for all three days.
The schedule for the DragonFest concert series is as follows:
*** All events take place on the 3rd Street Stage.
Friday, Feb. 7
8 p.m. – Kevin Khoa
9 p.m. – Henry Chuc
Saturday, Feb. 8
8 p.m. – The Thai Divas
9 p.m. – Victoria Zhong Wei
Sunday, Feb. 9
6:30 p.m. – Isla Vegas Band
7 p.m. – Gloria Papin
8 p.m. – The Society of Seven
Lunar Lantern Festival
To commemorate the Lunar Lantern Festival, which officially ends the Chinese New Year celebrations, primary grade students of Clark County School District will be constructing paper lanterns marked with their “wish” for 2014. The lanterns will then be on display throughout Fremont Street Experience during the Chinese New Year in the Desert festival. Additionally, guests and passersby are invited to stop in at a booth located near the 3rd Street Stage to build their own lantern to display on Fremont Street Experience. The Lunar Lantern Festival is sponsored by St. Jude’s Women’s Auxiliary Group.
Race to the World Zumba® Record
On Saturday, Feb. 8 thousands of Zumba® participants from all over the valley will attempt to break the Guinness World Record for the Largest Zumba® Class. On-site registration begins at 11 a.m. by the 3rd Street Stage with the Zumbathon taking place from 1-3 p.m.
On-line pre-registration is highly encouraged and can be completed by logging on to http://www.cnyinthedesert.com/events/zumba-world-record/. Packet pick-up will start on Wednesday, Feb. 5, 5 p.m. at the Downtown Grand Hotel & Casino.
McDonald’s Las Vegas Spring Festival Parade
On Sunday, Feb. 9 local businesses, organizations, bands, drill teams, and dance groups will come together to celebrate the Chinese Lunar New Year during the McDonald’s Las Vegas Spring Festival Parade. Parade participants will showcase their talent and creativity with the most extravagant floats in vibrant colors to commemorate the rich history of the most important holiday of the Asian community. Cox Communications will be broadcasting the Parade. Starting at 11 a.m. at the intersection of Gass Avenue and 4th Street, the McDonald’s Las Vegas Spring Festival Parade will travel up 4th Street through Fremont Street Experience and end at the intersection of 4th Street and Ogden Avenue.
For a detailed entertainment schedule go to www.cnyinthedesert.com. All entertainment (with exception of V.I.P. seating) is free and open to the public.