The chance of rain did not stop Dallas locals from welcoming the Year of the Dog at NorthPark Center Saturday.
Thousands of people showed up to celebrate the Crow Collection of Asian Art’s 19th annual Chinese New Year Festival with the dogs of Dallas, after a venue change from Klyde Warren Park to NorthPark Center was announced only one day prior. SMU student Bryce Jensen attended the festival’s first few performances after stumbling on the festivities while shopping.
“The lion dance was really exciting,” Jensen said. “I would recommend other SMU students attend this event next year to increase their awareness to different sub-cultures in the DFW area.”
This celebration of the Lunar New Year also featured numerous dragon dances, orchestra and opera performances, a fashion show and crafts.
Sam Liu emceed the event. Liu explained some of the traditional elements on display and the symbolism within the performances to ward off evil spirits in the New Year.
“Gold and red are traditional symbols of wealth and fortune and happiness and prosperity. So, you see a lot of gold and red,” Liu said.
Good fortune, or fú, is an important characteristic of this holiday. Participants could make lucky red envelopes with the Chinese character to feed to the lions or hang wishes for the new year on the red and gold Wishing Tree. This interactive sculpture was a collaboration between the Crow Collection, Make Art with Purpose and artist Jin-Ya Huang. It was meant to emulate the New Year traditions of Hong Kong.
The festival featured canine themes to welcome the year of the dog. The Chinese Zodiac characterizes the year of the dog with loyalty, kindness and love. The festival featured booths to decorate dog ears and color dog masks that remained popular all afternoon. At the Doggie Doodles booth, students from Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts offered black and white sketches of people’s dogs in exchange for a $6 donation to the museum.
To promote the year’s namesake, the Crow Collection announced its yearlong partnership with the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) of Texas. SPCA’s communications manager Victoria Albrecht called the event a huge success regarding the number of adoptions and the amount of donations they received.
“We decided to partner with the Crow Collection to not only encourage more people to open their hearts and homes to animals in need, but to educate our community on the unique programs we have to offer,” Albrecht said. “Having our foster team at the event helped promote our Foster Hero program, which provides foster opportunities for every kind of household.”
Adoptable, spayed/neutered, microchipped, vaccinated dogs were set up on-site to help them find loving families. All 12 dogs displayed, including one of SPCA’s longest residents, found homes with local Dallas families. SPCA merchandise was also sold to raise money for the organization. For more information on the SPCA’s foster opportunities or how to make a donation, visit www.spca.org/foster.
The festival also opened the exhibition “To Infinity: the Art of Master Shen-Long.” It is displayed in the gallery space between Louis Vuitton and Burberry and will run through March 21, 2018.