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Thousands flock to Chinatown Lunar New Year Parade

Thousands flock to Chinatown Lunar New Year Parade
Thousands flock to Chinatown Lunar New Year Parade 01:55

NEW YORK -- Chinatown's biggest party danced its way through Manhattan on Sunday, all in celebration of the Year of the Wood Dragon.

The Lunar New Year started off with a bang.

"It's important because we're like all immigrants here, like uniting here to celebrate how we've grown here in the city," said Julia Remache of Flushing, Queens.

READ MORELunar New Year kicks off with Chinese New Year Parade in Brooklyn

Confetti fluttered throughout Chinatown to the pounding of the traditional drums -- sights and sounds for many newcomers this year.

"This is the first time I'm seeing it and I'm 40. He's 10 and he's 6," one woman from Riverhead said.

"I've wanted to see the lion dancers, so I've never seen it in person. The liquidity of movement is what captures it for me," added CK Browne of Astoria, Queens.

READ MOREAnnual firecracker ceremony held in Chinatown for Lunar New Year

They came to celebrate the Year of the Wood Dragon, which signifies good fortune, strength, and power.

"I think it's such an important idea of strength and hope," said Adam Galinsky of the Upper West Side.

"I am Year of the Dragon, 1988. Go us!" added Tom Love of Connecticut.

Elected officials like Sen. Chuck Schumer and Gov. Kathy Hochul donned their grand marshal sashes ahead of parade kickoff. This year also marks a special year for schools throughout New York state. It was the first time Lunar New Year was officially recognized as a holiday on school calendars.

"That's for our children. That's for our families to keep these tight bonds and traditions," Hochul said. "Use this time to celebrate the New Yorkers, every one of you. This is what makes us so incredible."

Vanessa Love from Connecticut was also a first timer at the parade. She and her husband have been going to different Lunar parades throughout the country as a tribute to her Chinese stepmom, who would tell her, "'Back in my country there was always fireworks for the month and I just miss it.' And so, we always try to go."

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