Cuteness alert: Lunar New Year Children’s Parade Contest draws nearly 80 kids

On Feb. 13, children and their parents braved the rain to come out and participate in the inaugural Children’s Parade and Contest, organized by the Northwest Asian Weekly and sponsored by Panda Express. Of the nearly 80 participants, there were 20 finalists who received tickets from the Space Needle, Seattle Aquarium, and Woodland Park Zoo. The three winners got tickets and $50, $30, and $20, respectively, from the parade sponsors.

Contestants of the Children’s Parade wait for the parade to start outside of Northwest Asian Weekly’s news building on Feb. 13. (Photos by George Liu/NWAW)

The Children's Parade judges Raymond Connell and Stacy Nguyen (middle) stands with Panda Express representative Mavis Chan and the parade winners and finalists.

Minyi Xu is a Chinese American engineer from Washington. She currently resides in California, while her husband and son live in Washington.

Year of the tiger 1998: “That was the year when we were getting ready to move to America from China. It was also the year when my son began school in the first grade. Those were some of our big milestones.

“We celebrated Lunar New Year at my husband’s parents’ house and we had dinner with them. That was tradition. We would cook dumplings with many side dishes and beer. For us Chinese, the Lunar New Year is all about the food.

“The government wouldn’t let us set off any fireworks back then, so we would just spend the rest of the night watching CCTV’s Spring Festival Gala with my husband, his parents, and my son.”

Hopes for the year of the tiger 2010: “I’ll be leaving California to visit my family in Washington this Lunar New Year. We plan on having just a small family dinner and call all of our relatives abroad.”

“I just hope that my son could get into the university that he wants to attend, and that we would be able to help pay for his tuition. Globally, I just hope that the relationship between the United States and China would improve, and that the recession would be over soon.”

Trine Duenas is a Filipino American from Guam. She is currently part of the management team at a local Krispy Kreme restaurant. She has one daughter named Tiana.

Year of the tiger 1998: “I just remember the food. We saw a lot of food celebrations and festival kind of things, and I know we used to always go to a lot of parties with mochi rice, the Japanese yo-yo balls, and just a lot of celebrations.

“We were getting ready to move out here to the state of Washington in the summer of 1998. We had Tiana finish private schooling in Guam, and she started first grade here.”

Hopes for the year of the tiger 2010: “I just want Tiana to graduate and go off to college. It’s going to be a huge change for us, because like I said, she’s our only child. We’ll be like empty nesters, and it’s going to be a time when my husband and I would have to spend more time together, and we wouldn’t be so focused on her. It’s probably going to be a getting-to-know period for us again.

“We’ve been through a lot this year. I’d like to see the war stop. We’ve had several family members and friends that have gone back to Iraq. We had a friend who was injured there and who is now on disability. If the government can get it together and stop this war, then to us, it would be a blessing. But we’re all for fighting for freedom, so it’s really like a Catch-22.”

Kim Thoa Nguyen is a Vietnamese American manicurist from Puyallup. She is the mother of two children.

Year of the tiger 1998: “That year, my husband lived in America and both my son and I were still in Vietnam. We went to my parents’ house to wish them good health that year, and the children received red envelopes that contained money in it called li xi.

“Then, we went to a friend’s house to celebrate and party, and the children got more li xi. During that time, we also went to the temple to ask for good fortune.”

Hopes for the year of the tiger 2010: “We’re going to watch the dancing dragon parade down in Tacoma. Then, we’ll head to my husband’s parent’s home, and the children will wish the elders good health for li xi.

“I wish to spend more time with my children this year, visit Vietnam, and have a wonderful 2010.” ♦

Steven Cong can be reached at

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