Lunar New Year roundup

The Year of the Rabbit

The 2011 Lunar New Year parade will take place on Saturday, February 12, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., where the Lion and Dragon Dance will ring in the Year of the Rabbit.

The parade will begin in front of the 109th Precinct on 39th Avenue and Union Street. It will end at 39th Avenue and Main Street in Flushing.

There will also be an indoor festival from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at Queens Crossing at 136-17 39th Avenue on the second floor. Attendees can experience traditional stage performances and a cultural market.

Those interested in participating can call the Flushing Chinese Business Association at 718-353-2320 before the February 5 deadline.

Queens Library Events

The Queens Library will be hosting several free events to chime in the upcoming start of the Year of the Rabbit.

? On Saturday, January 29, artist Kwok Kay Choey will introduce teenagers and children to Chinese brush painting at 10 a.m. at the Elmhurst Library located at 86-01 Broadway.

? Also on Saturday, the New York Chinese Opera Society will present the Peking Opera at the Queens Library in Flushing, located at 41-17 Main Street. It will be held in the lower level of the auditorium at 2 p.m.

? Looking ahead, on Saturday, February 19, the Queens Library at Flushing will host Korean food preparation with Soh Young Lee-Segredo, where participants will learn to make Banchan, small dishes of food with rice at 10 a.m in rooms C and D.

? Next, Chinese floral artist Anna Kao will teach about floral arranging at 11:30 a.m. in rooms A and B.

?At 1:30 p.m., there will be a presentation of traditional Korean music, dance and costumes. Later, the Orient Wind Ensemble will play traditional Chinese music for guests at 3 p.m.

Flushing Town Hall Events

Flushing Town Hall invites all to make paper lanterns free of charge on Saturday, January 29, for the Lunar New Year. Participants can make one to take home and one to decorate the hall, which is located at 137-35 Northern Boulevard.

On Saturday, February 5, at 5 p.m. Flushing Town Hall will open the Culture Blending in Ceramic Arts exhibit, part of Queens College’s Year of China program. The exhibit shows the works of American ceramic artists inspired by Chinese tradition. Suggested admission is $5. The exhibit runs until March 31.The gallery is open on Saturdays and Sundays noon to 5 p.m.

The Sounds of Korea musical group will be teaching curious guests at the hall the celebratory dance, P’oong-m’ul Nori, also known as the Farmers’ Dance, on Sunday, January 30, at 1 p.m. Tickets for non-member adults cost $6 and $3 for children. There is a maximum of 25 participants for this event. This event is free for members who also purchase tickets to the 2:15 p.m. show.

The Sounds of Korea will also put on their full performance, including their “Fan Dance” and “Drums of Ecstasy,” at 2:15 p.m. on Sunday, January 30. They are the performing group for the Korean Traditional Arts Association, having played in venues including Lincoln Center. For non-member adults and children, tickets cost $12 and $8, respectively. For member adults and children, tickets are $10 and $6, respectively.

On Sunday, February 6, children can make clay rabbits to kick off the Year of the Rabbit at 2 p.m. with international ceramic artist Sin-ying Ho. Tickets are $5. There is a maximum of 25 participants.

The Lunar New Year Dance Sampler will take place at the hall on Saturday, February 12, at 1 p.m. It is free and open to all, and will feature dance performances from Korea, China, India, Thailand and Taiwan.

To purchase tickets for the above events, call 718-463-7700, Ext. 222 or visit flushingtownhall.org.

Rabbits at Queens Zoo

Kids can meet the Queens Zoo’s Flemish giant rabbits on two upcoming weekends in honor of the Year of the Rabbit.

The festivities begin at 1 p.m. on Saturday, January 29. The first 100 children at each weekend will receive a good luck token from the zoo.

The rabbits, weighing in at 20 pounds each, will be in the Discovery Center for everyone to meet. Guests can learn about rabbits and the other animals of the Asian zodiac. There will also be rabbit-themed story times at 1 p.m., 2:15 p.m. and 3 p.m.

Lunar New Year events will take place from noon to 4 p.m. January 29 to 30 and February 5 and 6.

The zoo is located at 53-51 111th Street in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park.

Dance and Raffle at Sky View Center

The Sky View Center Mall will begin the New Year with a dance by the Chinatown Community Young Lions and a charity raffle for Share Our Strength, an organization fighting against child hunger.

Visitors can catch the action at 11 a.m. on Saturday, February 5, in the lobby atrium. The raffle tickets cost $10 and also grant access to the Taste of Sky View Center event, where one can sample the various foods served at the mall. At 2:30 p.m., the winners will be announced. Prizes include gift certificates, a bicycle and digital cameras.

The Sky View Center mall is located at 40-24 College Point Boulevard in Flushing.

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