Hundreds of people gathered at Sarah D. Roosevelt Park in Chinatown Monday afternoon for Chinese New Year celebrations. Despite a brief flurry of snow earlier in the day, a firecracker ceremony started off the event without a hitch.
“We got here a little bit late because of the snow,” said Laura Martinez, a New York resident from Brooklyn. “We weren’t sure if it was going to still be on but we got here right in time for all the fireworks. It’s my first time in New York experiencing Chinese New Year, so I was happy.”
Bursts of confetti showered the crowd sporadically, while loud music blared from speakers throughout the park. Lion dancers shimmied their way to the park surrounded by onlookers trying to snap photos, and vendors sold primate-themed souvenirs representing the Year of the Monkey.
“We have a huge crowd as usual,” said Tommy Li, a coordinator for Better Chinatown, which helped organize the event. “Snow, rain or shine, we’re here for the celebration. Everybody just celebrate the new year.”