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Queens Holds First In-Person Lunar New Year Parade In 2 Years

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- The Queens Lunar New Year Parade kicked off late Saturday morning in Flushing.

Gov. Kathy Hochul marched in this year's parade, the first in-person one since the COVID pandemic started two years ago, CBS2's Christina Fan reported.

From Chinatown to Flushing, streets are decked in red and families are fired up, excited to welcome the Year of the Tiger with the strength and courage the zodiac represents.

The 15-day celebration in New York City started Tuesday with the Firecracker and Cultural Festival at Sara D. Roosevelt Park.

Many more events are planned over the next few weeks. They include more parades, lion dances and an art exhibit at Flushing Town Hall, where artists reflected on the pandemic and expressed the pain of anti-Asian attacks inflicted on their community.

"This piece is titled 'Fear.' Surrounded by fear. The second one is 'Cut the Loop.' If we can cut the loop of circle of hatred," co-curator Chemin Hsiao said.

Community leaders said these displays of culture and tradition help fight ignorance.

New York City schools have closed in observance of Lunar New Year since 2016. There's now an effort in Congress to make it a federal holiday.

"I'm really excited about more non-Asians to celebrate Lunar New Year and recognize how important it is," Leighanne Oh said.

No matter your religion, ethnicity or race, the meaning and well wishes associated with Lunar New Year hold true.

"Resilience, prosperity," Howard Moi of Chinatown said.

The parade marched from the corner of 37th Avenue and Union Street to Flushing Town Hall.

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