An estimated 3,000 people showed up in Lacy Park on Saturday to attend the Chinese Club of San Marino’s celebration of the Lunar New Year.
The event was “a very positive step in bringing together our community after a really difficult time,” said Alan Chen, president of the Chinese Club of San Marino, the event’s main sponsor.
“I am very pleased,” Chen continued. “The weather and the turnout were great.”
The mass murders that took place in Monterey Park on the eve of Lunar New Year gave the committee justifiable concern about the event.
“The crowd was fantastic. There were a lot of people in attendance but it was not overcrowded. We had much smaller expectations but the crowd really showed up,” Chen continued.
Going way back, Chen can take credit for the event. Chen was a member of the city’s DEI (diversity, equity and inclusion) Task Force, which spent more than two years meeting, according to fellow member Kelly Ryan. At the time, Chen was just stepping into the role of Chinese Club president.
Ryan said that the committee met in December and came up with the idea for the Lunar New Year event.
The entire event was planned in a month, Chen said.
“It was very well-organized,” he said. “There was a wide array of businesses and vendors who were there. There were some amazing performances. I think for a first effort it was amazing.”
And to think it almost didn’t get off the ground at all.
“We entertained some thought about not holding the event,” Chen said. “We had a difficult discussion about cancelling the event. At the end of the day, we felt that the city would assure it would be safe.”
Police Chief John Incontro made sure to see that all of the parking lots were locked and that there were an abundance of security measures in place.
“We also felt it was important to make a statement of celebrating our unity without fear of violence,” said Chen. “I think we were very fortunate.
“We saw so many community organizations and stakeholders in attendance,” Chen said. “We were very blessed. It was good to get the community connected again.
“It was the first time we did this so we didn’t know what to expect,” Chen added. There were a lot of PTA members and advisers from the Chinese Club of San Marino who were there. “It really was a community event. We are so thankful and happy. It was incredibly rewarding.”
Four local troops of Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts bolstered the attendance and Chen said he saw friends from as far away as Palos Verdes and Irvine.
There were two commercial sponsors for the event, USC Keck Hospital and Cathay Bank. Attendees had the choice of some 46 booths to turn to for food and refreshments.
“We are incredibly pleased with the outcome,” Chen said.
- Annie Han with Christine and Hunter Chang
- Vivian Chan, Rosa Zee and Amy Chang
- John Chou, Lee and Carol Baca, and Vivian Chan
- School Board Vice President C. Joseph Chang, SMUSD Superintendent Linda de la Torre, San Marino Rotary Club member Linda Wah, Councilwoman Gretchen Shepherd Romey, Chinese Club of San Marino President Alan Chen, Mayor Steve Talt, School Board President Shelley Ryan, Councilman Calvin Lo and Councilman Tony Chou
- Police Chief John Incontro, and Fire Chief and Interim City Manager Mario Rueda
- Aidan Caidan, James Teh and Aidan Chu
- Anthony Kwan, Stanley Meng, William Li, Elina Meng and John Zhai
- Stella Shih, Ella Chan, Elif Turkal and Renee Li
- Chloe Tam, Chloe Lin, Audrey Lee and Lindsey Peng
- Cindy Kuo, Luyi Khasi and Maggie Lee
- Ainsley Kung, Ying-Ying Lin, Carol Lin and Kelly Law
- Michele Esbenshade, Alison Moller, Nicolette Fuerst, Tony Woo, Dominic Hansa and Gabrielle Carlton
- Brenda Cheng and Stephen Choi
- Charlotte and Charlene Lin
- Sally Cheng, Queenie Ng, Tina Wong and Annie Brassard
- Barbara Bice, Fred Sohl, Linda Wah, Maurice Saldebar and Mary Ulin
- Arton Lin, Nemo Ouyang and Brandon Chung
- Karen Kishi, Erica Chang and Ginny Garofalo
- Ryan Hong, Chris Lim and Ethan Guo
- Ed Tom (front, from left) and Carol Blauvelt. Back: Kaili Chang and Bob Houston.
- Devan Jue with David and Jared Wang
- Nancy Lee and Sherry Wuu
- Gene, Natalie and Jacki Chuang
- Alice Ding and Renesmee Li
- Ainsley and Sharn Kung with Wilbur Wu
- Emily and Lee Hsiao
- Alice Wang and Amy Yang
- Kurt and Lois Gronauer
- Brandon Chuang and Bradley Wong
- Robert and Melody Sloan
- Leadership in the San Marino community
- Chinese Club of San Marino President Alan Chen receives a Certificate of Appreciation from the SMUSD.