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Scenes from last years Chinese New Year celebration at the Bankhead

LIVERMORE — A free, family-friendly Chinese New Year celebration will be held Sunday, Feb. 18, in the Bankhead Theater lobby with traditional dancing, demonstrations, food and crafts.

The theater is at 2400 First Street in downtown Livermore from 10 a.m. until noon.

 According to Chinese tradition, a different animal represents each year in the 12-year Chinese zodiac and 2018 marks the Year of the Brown Dog.

The event will include a colorful and dramatic lion dance, one of the most familiar Chinese New Year traditions, by KungFu Dragon USA who will also perform an exhibition of martial arts. Xiaopei Chinese Dance will also be performing, and two presentations will be offered. Margaret Zhao of the Life Renewing Center will speak on “Chinese Health and Healing: The Art of QiGong” and a representative from the Dragon School in Oakland’s Chinatown will talk about the success of their innovative community street art program for young people and artists.

Throughout the morning, an art activity station will allow visitors to create a Chinese New Year craft to take home. Food, including authentic Chinese dim sum and noodles, will be for sale in the concessions area, and a festive Community Altar will be set up so visitors can offer gifts such as fruit, flowers or money for good tidings of health and prosperity in the coming year.

Sponsored by Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center, the event is free but online registration is recommended. Everyone who registers will be automatically entered in a drawing to win a colorful Chinese Calendar. Must be present to win.