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Lunar New Year connects community at Gamble Garden

Allison Ma
On Feb. 10, a crowd gathers around to watch the Lunar New Year lion dance performance at Gamble Garden. Palo Alto resident Audrey Smith said she attended the event with her children to celebrate the holiday. “It brings awareness to Asian culture and it introduces it to a lot of kids,” Smith said. “Also, it introduces them to the Palo Alto community as a whole.”

Cymbals clashed, children laughed and the lion danced, weaving through a sea of blooming flowers to welcome the Lunar New Year at Gamble Garden on Saturday morning.

The Feb 10. garden event hosted over 300 people, including families, friends and individuals. The array of arts and crafts, such as paper lantern making and flower crafting, provided hands-on experiences for kids, while the peaceful garden tours complemented the lively environment.

According to Sue Krumbein, who is a part of the membership committee at Gamble Garden, the celebration was one of the monthly Second Saturday events.

“Every month for the second Saturday, we have a theme that focuses on the garden,” Krumbein said. “For February, we focus on the lunar celebrations of several cultures as well as the start of spring.” 

The event recognizes an important time for the Asian community and brings families together, according to Krumbein.

“They dress up, wear red, come with extended family and share a tradition with everyone,” Krumbein said. 

Palo Alto resident Tinwin Wang attended the celebration with her children to introduce them to Asian culture.

“It’s great having Gamble Garden open for anyone to show up and having so many people come,” Wang said. “You don’t normally see this many people, especially the Asian community, in one place, so it’s nice to see everybody out and together and celebrating.”

Nathan Cleckley, also attending the event with his young children, said he enjoys the outdoor environment of where the celebration was held. 

“I really liked how open it is and it’s fun for kids,” Cleckley said. “My son’s two-and-a-half so in some places where he’s more restrained, it’s not so good for him. He really likes looking at the flowers and the plants. Nature is important to us as a family, and I really enjoyed it so far.”

Along with the visitors, there were also many Gamble Garden volunteers roaming around to help facilitate the experience. Palo Alto High School senior Ash Batory has been volunteering at the garden for around two years and has helped out with many previous events.

According to Batory, volunteering at Gamble Gardens is a great way be a part of the community. 

“Where else are you going to meet so many other people interested in similar things,” Batory said. “There’s a limited number of people we can meet at work or at school, and hundreds of people come here every month, so it’s just a great opportunity for people to bond with other members of the community.”

As Lunar New Year continues until Feb. 24, all are welcome to attend the 2024 Palo Alto Lunar New Year Fair on Feb. 25 at the Mitchell Park Community Center from 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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About the Contributors
Allison Ma
Allison Ma, Culture Editor
Allison Ma (Class of 2026) joined The Paly Voice her sophomore year and enjoys running, baking and watching TV shows.
Veronica Qiu
Veronica Qiu, News Editor, Webmaster
Veronica Qiu (Class of 2026) joined The Voice in her sophomore year. Outside of journalism she enjoys crocheting and listening to K-pop.

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    AndyFeb 21, 2024 at 6:30 pm

    Great coverage of Lunar New Year! Well-done!