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Lunar New Year Parades Return To Chicago This Weekend With Added Police After California Mass Shooting

Police say there are no known threats, but the department and event organizers are taking more precautions following a mass shooting that killed 11 people outside Los Angeles on Lunar New Year's Eve.

The Argyle Lunar New Year Celebration first began in 1981.
Courtesy Uptown United
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UPTOWN — Lunar New Year’s celebrations will have tighter security this weekend following a mass shooting in California that killed 11 people on Lunar New Year’s Eve.

Argyle Street’s Lunar New Year Celebration is noon-4 p.m. Saturday along the Asia on Argyle district in Uptown. The parade, celebrating the Year of the Rabbit, will kick off at 1 p.m.

The parade will begin and end on Argyle Street but will not march down the street this year due to construction on the Red Line. It will kick off at Argyle Street near the Red Line tracks and head west to Broadway, north to Winona Street and south on Sheridan Road back to Argyle Street.

The Chinatown Lunar New Year parade returns for the first time since the pandemic started. It starts 1 p.m. Sunday at 24th Street and Wentworth Avenue.

Chicago police leaders said more officers will monitor Lunar New Year’s events.

“While there is no actionable intelligence in Chicago, we are strengthening security for Lunar New Year celebrations in the upcoming days by increasing our visibility and presence at these events. Our business liaison officers and community policing officers will also remain in communication with the [Asian American and Pacific Islander] community throughout the Lunar New Year activities,” police leaders said in a Monday statement.

Uptown Ald. Harry Osterman (48th) confirmed that added security will include the Argyle event.

Business liaison and community policing officers are also working with Asian American and Pacific Islander communities for the duration of scheduled Lunar New Year activities, Osterman said.

“I remain committed to working together with community leaders and the Chicago Police Department to ensure that this celebration is safe and meaningful for all who attend,” Osterman wrote in an email to constituents.

Alds. Nicole Lee (11th) and Byron Sigcho-Lopez (25th) told the Tribune they have consulted with parade organizers and community leaders about safety in Chinatown. Organizers also have added their own security, they told the Tribune.

Uptown’s Lunar New Year parade began in 1981 and has become a yearly tradition for Asia on Argyle.

The celebration will include Year of the Rabbit stories and crafts for kids from noon-12:45 p.m. Saturday at the Bezazian branch of the Chicago Public Library, 1226 W. Ainslie St. The event is for kids 2 and older.

More family-friendly activities will take place 1:30-4 p.m. Saturday at the Latin School’s 3rd Space, 4956 N. Sheridan Road.

Those who patronize certain Argyle-area businesses on Saturday can also pick up a free “lucky envelope.” Each envelope includes a Year of the Rabbit sticker, and a select few will include a golden ticket that can be turned in for a prize from event organizer Uptown United.

For a list of businesses participating in the envelope giveaway, click here.

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