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Oakland Museum of California Host 23rd Annual Lunar New Year Celebration

January 19, 2024

(OAKLAND, CA) January  19, 2024— Oakland Museum of California (OMCA) welcomes the Year of the Dragon with its 23rd Annual Lunar New Year Celebration featuring a series of family-friendly activities including storytelling, performances, activities, and more. For the past 22 years OMCA has honored the Lunar New Year holiday with its annual festival that brings the community together to acknowledge and celebrate the various Asian cultures that have found home in Oakland. This year’s celebration highlights strength, courage, and vitality, representing the Year of the Dragon and the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI)  community. 

The opening performance at noon invites visitors to usher in the new year and chase evil spirits away with a lucky lion dance by LionDanceMe. Following will be musical performances that will include Nanta Drum Play and Pan-Gut by Hansamo’s Nanta, Pungmulnori & Dance Teams, as well as an opportunity to participate in an interactive lion dance with LionDanceMe and a photo opportunity with the golden-clad dancers. Performances will also feature a Street style dance performance and lesson by Str8jacket, known for their appearance on America’s Got Talent

In between performances OMCA’s Lecture Hall will be transported to the narrative worlds of Oliver Chin and Joanna Ho. Oliver Chin, founder of the children’s book publisher, Immedium, original publisher of the Octonauts books that inspired the worldwide hit animated series, lends his storytelling talents to the festival. Author of over 20 books, Oliver joins the celebration with readings from his work, The Year of the Dragon: Tales from the Chinese Zodiac.  Following him will be the New York Times bestselling and award-winning author, Joanna Ho as she reads from her work, Eyes that Kiss in the Corners and Eyes that Speak to the Stars.  

OMCA’s Lower Level will be activated as well with fun and meaningful activities that will get visitors into the Dragon spirit. Starting at noon until 4 pm, there will be Dragon Puppet making as well as an opportunity to write  New Year’s wishes on a dragon scale and add it to a collective Year of the Dragon artwork! There will also be a golden opportunity to learn about and sample a variety of tea with Danna Lo, founder of local tea company, Far Leaves Tea

The Museum’s Galleries of California Art, History, and Natural Sciences and Special Exhibition, Por El Pueblo: The Legacy of Malaquías Montoya will also be ignited with Gallery Chats. An informal approach to the traditional museum tour, Gallery Chats will encourage visitors to delve deeper into our collections with meaningful conversations and fresh interpretations facilitated by our knowledgeable OMCA Facilitators. Visitors are encouraged to also pick up a self-guided Lunar New Year Zodiac Quest activity and search for zodiac animals hidden in the galleries.

The 23rd Annual Lunar New Year Celebration will feature delicious festival themed bites provided by Town and Fare Cafe by Michelle McQueen as well as food vendors showcasing Bay Area AAPI chefs.

OMCA opens its campus to ring in the Year of the Dragon together in community. Festival access starts at 11am; activities and performances start at 12pm. Parking is available in OMCA’s Oak Street Garage for a day rate of $10; overflow event parking is available at Alco Park (165 13th Street) for the day rate of $7. 

Visit our website to book your tickets!

OMCA Lunar New Year is made possible in part by generous support from the Oakland Museum Women’s Board.

The Oakland Museum of California (OMCA) tells the many stories that comprise California, creating the space and context for greater connection, trust, and understanding between people. Through its inclusive exhibitions, public programs, educational initiatives, and cultural events, OMCA brings Californians together and inspires greater understanding about what our state’s art, history, and natural surroundings teach us about ourselves and each other. With more than 1.9 million objects, OMCA brings together its multidisciplinary collections of art, history, and natural science with first-person accounts and often untold narratives of California, all within its 110,000 square feet of gallery space and seven-acre campus. The Museum is a leading cultural institution of the Bay Area and a resource for the research and understanding of California’s dynamic cultural and environmental heritage for visitors from the region, the state, and around the world.

The Oakland Museum of California (OMCA) is at 1000 Oak Street, at 10th Street, in Oakland. Museum admission is $19 general admission; $16 for seniors; and $12 for youth ages 12 to 17 as well as for students and educators with valid ID, and free for Members and children 12 and under. There is a $6 charge in addition to general admission pricing for special exhibitions in the Great Hall. OMCA offers onsite underground parking and is conveniently located one block from the Lake Merritt BART station, on the corner of 10th Street and Oak Street. An accessibility ramp is located at the 1000 Oak Street main entrance to the Museum.