Beauty on Parade at Texas Int’l Lunar Festival
HOUSTON: After dealing with an endless presidential election, political rallies, protests, visa bans and executive orders the nation needs to do something to keep its sanity and maintain unity between communities. The annual Chinese Lunar New Year festivities provided just that. After a long time, it felt like a breath of fresh air in a garden whose sensual aroma of flowers touched the senses.
The Texas International Lunar Festival opened its doors at the plaza in front of the Southern News Group building at Boone and Bellaire at 10 am on Saturday, February 4 after weeks of planning and preparation by a team of event co-chairs and organizers for what turned out to be a spectacular display of international foods, entertainment and speeches by local dignitaries. The slight chill in the air was not enough to deter the crowds estimated at 10,000 that visited the festival throughout the day.
A walk by beauty queens representing the world was presented by TV Houston in a segment called “Global Beauties”. VIPs from across the business and political spectrum were among the spectators “This showcases the diversity that exists in Houston “said co-chair and TV Houston founder Sangeeta Dua.
The celebration began with a VIP reception hosted by International District Chairman Wea Lee, who is the publisher of the Southern Chinese News. Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, Congressman Al Green, State Rep. Gene Wu, HCC Trustee Neeta Sane, and other dignitaries opened the festival with a ribbon cutting. Green welcomed everyone, declaring the Texas International Lunar Festival as “the greatest coming together of the many diverse cultures.”
Lee disclosed that, from next year, the Lunar Festival will be called the Houston International Arts and Cultural Festival and “will be dedicated to celebrating not just the Asian Lunar New Year, but also many other international cultures as well.”
The message of Asian diversity was brought out by singers and emcees from many countries and the presence of international communities on stage with a Filipino fashion show by PHTV, a Chinese dragon dance, Caribbean and Vietnamese performances, followed up by Indian classical dances by students of the Anjali School of Performing Arts.