LIVINGSTON, NJ — Hundreds of community members from Livingston and beyond celebrated the Lunar New Year through the township’s annual Livingston Chinese Culture Day (LCCD) 2019, held last weekend at Livingston High School.

Four local Chinese community organizations—including the Livingston Huaxia Chinese School, Livingston Chinese Association, Livingston Chinese School and Living Stone Christian Church—have collaborated with the Chinese program within the Livingston High School World Language Department to host this event since 2003. Thanks to these volunteers, the event drew a record crowd this year for an evening of performances—including an exhibition by area students and parents highlighting the richness of Chinese culture—as well as games and other means of entertainment for all ages.

“The turnout of this year’s event is the largest ever thanks to the good work of volunteers from each organization,” said LCCD committee member Yitao Yu. “We also have the largest number of exhibits from local organizations and sponsors ever in this event.”

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In addition to a popular performance from students of the Ady Art Center, New Star Art Center and Wushu Kungfu Fitness Center, a highlight of the evening was a finale performance that featured both children and adults. Members of several local organization and performing art centers presented various traditional Chinese folk dances, children’s choruses, Chinese skits, a traditional musical instrument performance and a Wushu Kungfu performance.

Some of the local dignitaries in attendance included Livingston Mayor Al Anthony, Deputy Mayor Rudy Fernandez, Councilmen Edward Meinhardt and Shawn Klein, Essex County Freeholder Patricia Sebold, District Director Jill Hirsch from Congresswoman Mikie Sherrill’s office, Livingston Superintendent of Schools James O’Neill, Assistant Superintendent Lisa Capone-Steiger, board of education members George Shen, Pam Chirls, Ronnie Konner and Samantha Messer, as well as Livingston High School Principal Mark Stern. 

Anthony presented a plaque to Laurie Li, chairwoman of the LCCD 2019 committee and principal of Livingston Huaxia Chinese School, and praised LCCD’s effort to promote multicultural inclusion in the Livingston community.

Li also thanked the volunteers, specifically applauding Livingston High School teacher Lucy Lee and her students. 

“Lucy is at the event every year,” said Li. "Her students have done excellent job today.”

On behalf of The Livingston Committee for Diversity and Inclusion (LCDI), committee co-chair Billy Fine congratulated the five organizations on the success of this event, expressing his hope that the LCDI can become involved in the annual celebration in the coming years.  

“I found that the more time spent at this event, the more amazing it was,” said Fine. “The performances at the end of the night ranged from cute, to funny, to generally breathtaking. All involved in this event should be truly proud of their creation.”