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SAVE THE DATE! Year of the Dragon

February 24, 2024 

Doors open at 12:45 am and Fireworks start at 7 pm

Spokane Convention Center - Exhibit Hall A

This event is 100% free for all ages. The entire community is invited and strongly encouraged to attend. The first 500 attendees will receive a swag bag filled with goodies for the New Year!


For more information about the event, find us on facebook: SpokaneUnitedWeStand


We can’t wait to see you there, Chúc mừng năm mới and Gong hei fat choy!

Where to Stay!

Best Western Plus City Center


33 W Spokane Falls Boulevard Spokane, Washington 99201 United States

Toll Free Central Reservations (US & Canada Only) 1(800) 780-7234

Hotel Direct Number (509) 623-9727

Best Western Plus City Center | Hotel Rooms

Spokane's Lunar New Year History

Unfortunately, it took the Anti-Asian Hate Crimes during the pandemic to wake up Spokane's Asian Native Hawaiian Pacific Islander communities to stand united and work together.

Part of the course is discovering Spokane's Asian heritage that spans 171 years starting with the Chinese, followed by the Japanese and the Filipinos. One of the stories we uncovered was Spokane once had a vibrant Chinatown/ Japan Trent Alley or to be more accurate, an international district from the from the 1880s through the 1940s.

The first Chinese Lunar New Year was celebrated in 1888 followed by a midnight raid by the Spokane Police who were alarmed by the fanfare and revelry. The following year 1889, “Thousands of crackers were fired, bombs exploded and Chinese rockets were sent heavenward," wrote the reporter. "Hundreds of people, attracted by the noise, blocked the streets" (The Morning Review, "The Fusillade of Fun").

He reported that guests, "no matter what race," were invited into the rooms of Chinatown residents and "made welcome with viands and liquors." Roast pig or chicken were the favorite foods; Chinese whiskey, or "Sam Shu" the favored liquors. "Before the food is eaten it is set out before a picture or image of Joss (an idol)," wrote the correspondent. "Punk or Joss sticks (incense sticks) are lighted and set near. As the pale blue smoke ascends to heaven, each guest breathes a prayer and sends it up in the smoke to the spirits of departed friends and relatives to partake of the feast" (The Morning Review, "The Fusillade of Fun").

In a merchant's store on Front Street, a Chinese band "sawed and hammered away with all their might" on three fiddles, a tom-tom, and a cymbal.


The last Chinese New Year event was held in 1933. During the Depression, Chinatown began its slow decline in the 1920s when Japanese immigration was curtailed and then banned. Many Japanese immigrants went back to Japan, after losing hope that their families would ever be able to join them.

Frequent police raids, new ordinance forbidding them to work at night, racism, the incarceration of Japanese Americans after WW2 made it difficult for the Asian community to thrive.


With no new influx of immigrants, Chinatown/ Trent Alley began to lose its Asian identity. Because of its blighted nature, Trent Alley was razed in the early 1970s as part of the massive urban renewal project for Expo '74, Spokane's World's Fair.

Hosting a Chinese Lunar New Year event in downtown Spokane will bring attention to places and events that our community members might not know about otherwise. But more importantly; it provides healing, a sense of community & belonging to Spokane’s Asian residents whose contributions have been erased & buried for the last 171 years.

It's not about forgiveness or reconciliation. It's about memory -- the fact that we can finally talk about these people who have always been forgotten in the narrative. We just want to tell the story as it was, because it is also a beautiful story, of how their descendants & community is presently coming together to share their stories, which includes bringing back Spokane’s Lunar New Year event after 89 years.


More importantly, it provides healing, a sense of community & belonging to Spokane’s Asian residents whose contributions have been erased & buried for the last 171 years.


Year of the Dragon Shirts

2024 Red Envelopes

Artwork by Artist Randy Budano

Meet the Year of the Dragon Artist!

Randy Budano – born in Guam – is a Civil Designer, former instructor for Corks and Canvas Events, and is a visual artist. He volunteered teaching art at West Valley City School.

He has shown First Fridays at Cougar Crest Winery, Nectar Catering and Events, Maryhill Winery, Blue Door Theatre, Bridge Press Cellars, Bellwether Brewing Company, Smoke and Mirrors and Helix Winery. Randy has participated in RAW which was held at the Knitting Factory in February 2018, participated in Terrain 11 in 2018, Terrain 12 in 2019, Fem+Fest Feminist Art Festival by Spokane NOW in 2019, and is a former member of Shades of Me, a collective showcasing brown artists in the Inland Northwest.


“The Art that I create is an examination in who I am. It’s that travel from being an Army Brat that has made me fascinated with stability and change. Not only do I enjoy the balance of juxtaposition, but having an altered visual experience that my work expresses brings a big smile to my face. Creating art is a journey through time to help me sort where I have been, where I am in the present and where I might be in the future.”

For more information:

Red Lantern

For Vendor, Sponsorship Information and General Inquiries

Charity Bagatsing-Doyl


Lunar New Year Event Chair:
Vina Cathcart


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Lunar New Year Program Chair:
Lynn Yew Evers
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