CELEBRATE Chinese New Year with a bang as the City of Manila, together with the Filipino-Chinese General Chamber of Commerce Inc. (FCGCCI), is holding a street party in Chinatown’s San Lorenzo Ruiz Plaza on Jan. 24 which will include performances from top Original Pilipino Music (OPM) acts including Sponge Cola and Parokya ni Edgar.

“This is the first time the chamber is handling the celebrations for the New Year. [Previously], the celebrations were simple, now it’s a grand celebration,” Dr. James Dy, chairman emeritus of the FCGCCI, said during a press conference on Jan. 21 at the Universal Records offices in Quezon City.

The celebration — stretching over two days until Jan. 25 — will includes the aforementioned street party which is expected to draw a crowd of 10,000, will also see a float parade on Jan. 25.

“The parade will start from Plaza Lawton and end at Lucky Chinatown Mall,” Mr. Dy said.

Performers at the street party include Gloc-9, Shanti Dope, Ex-Battalion, Darren Espanto, Angeline Quinto, and Janine Berdin among others. Aside from the musical performances, the party will also include traditional Chinese performances from cultural groups and a dragon dance to herald the new year.

A 30-minute fireworks display over at Jones Bridge will cap off the night’s celebrations.

“This can be called one of the biggest Chinese New Year celebrations out there,” Ramon Chuaying, President of the FCGCCI, said before adding that they managed to pull off the preparations despite being given “less than 20 days” to prepare.

“We were told that the Mayor wanted us to handle the celebrations in early January,” he explained.

And because of the celebrations, Mr. Chuaying said that several streets in Binondo will be closed including Quintin Paredes and Juan Luna. He advises motorists to take alternate routes via Escolta and side streets.

The Chinese New Year street party is on Jan. 24 from 7 p.m. to midnight. Admission is free for both the party and the parade. — ZBC