Extra safety precautions made ahead of Decatur’s Lunar New Year celebration
A group of moms started the festival in 2022 after realizing there were little to no events, inside the perimeter, marking the beginning of a lunar calendar.
ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) - Extra safety precautions are being taken in Decatur ahead of the Lunar New Year Festival this weekend.
Weonhee Shin is looking forward to another successful year as she and other organizers prepare to welcome hundreds of people to Legacy Park for the Pan-Asian celebration. The one-day festival showcases the diverse ways countries in Asia celebrate the new year.
“It’s not for just Asian Americans,” Shin said. “Our goal is to show that we all have something to celebrate and it’s something for everyone to celebrate together.”
The festival, which drew more than 1,000 people last year, comes as many in the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community are grieving the loss of more than a dozen Asian Americans killed in two separate mass shootings in California this week.
“For me personally, it was a reminder of March 2021 here in Atlanta, the spa shootings,” Shin said. “It kind of makes it more tangible because we experienced that a little less than two years ago.
Shin said they were already planning to have a police presence at the event but have since requested more officers.
“Those questions were asked last year because of anti-Asian hate crimes that were rising,” Shin explained. “This year it’s more because of guns. It is on people’s minds.”
While organizers take steps to ensure the safety of those who attend, they want the focus of the celebration to remain the same: family and tradition.
“It’s important for our kids to embrace who they are and to know they too have a rich history – and that’s what we want,” Shin said. “This is in a small way, but at least the kids can see ‘Oh my gosh. We have good things, things to celebrate. We’re not just oppressed people. We can be proud of who we are.’”
Tickets to the event are $10. Proceeds will support Asian-American Voices for Education, a group working to create inclusive learning for Georgia’s K-12 students.
Copyright 2023 WANF. All rights reserved.