Chicago boosts safety precautions at Lunar New Year celebrations this weekend
CHICAGO - The Asia on Argyle corridor is welcoming everyone this weekend to celebrate the Lunar New Year.
The North Side parade will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday starting at Argyle Street and Winthrop Avenue. There are activities scheduled all day.
Security was re-evaluated after the mass shootings in California. Eleven people were killed at a Lunar New Year celebration in Monterey Park on Sunday.
Chicago community leaders met with Mayor Lori Lightfoot, police officers, North Side Ald. Harry Osterman (48th) and South Side Ald. Nicole Lee (11th) to discuss safety at this weekend's parades.
For some, there was anxiety but organizers said now is the time to represent and share culture. Restaurants, tea shops, stores and social service agencies plan to welcome visitors and usher in good fortune for the Year of the Rabbit.
"There's a lot of planning that goes into this to make sure it goes smoothly, given what happened in California last weekend, with the police and a lot of Asian leaders who helped us put the parade together. We're planning for a really safe parade for everyone who joins us here tomorrow," Osterman said.
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One long-standing tradition that has ended, merchants used to hang long strands of firecrackers and light them to ring in the New Year. The loud sounds were meant to scare away evil.
The practice ended during the pandemic and it will not return this year.