DENVILLE, NJ -- Approximately 1,000 spectators assembled in Downtown Denville to observe and participate in the third annual Lunar Year Celebration and Pet Parade on Sun., Feb. 9. The Downtown Denville Business Improvement District (BID) organized the event.

“It’s such a beautiful day with so great of a crowd,” said Gene FitzPatrick, chair of Downtown Denville BID.

“We want people to shop at our downtown businesses, which is our main goal when we host events like this. We’re also hoping people will adopt pets today.”

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The first day of the Chinese New Year begins on the new moon that appears between Jan.21 and Feb.20. For 2020, the first day of the Chinese New Year was Jan. 25, the Year of the Rat. Last year was the Year of the Pig, and the next will be the Year of the Ox.

This year, for the pet parade, Downtown Denville BID invited the Friends of the Denville Animal Shelter and the Eleventh Hour Dog Rescue as featured charities.

“This is very exciting and a great opportunity to be part of the community and show off our dogs,” said Jefferson Township resident Jess Hoertel, who has volunteered with Eleventh Hour for five years.

“We are also here to have a lot of fun and raise money for a great cause.”

Among the event’s activities, there was photograph opportunities for people with their pets, toy and food stands and karate demonstrations. There was even a live demonstration of an ice carving by Morris Plains resident Bob Johnson of Decorative Flairs.

“They have some very nice festivities,” said Denville resident Patty Paton.

“I love the inflatable corn maze and all the animals. It’s nice to be out during the winter and be with friends.”

Patton’s son Matthew was also happy to be at the downtown event.

“I like the pizza, Mickey Mouse, the ice carving and the dragons,” said Matthew.

The climax of the celebration included the pet parade itself, where dog owners walked from First Avenue to the parking lot of the Hunan Taste Chinese restaurant. It was there that the gathered crowd got to witness the traditional Lion Dance, performed by members of the Asian United and Cultural Exchange Council.

Denville Mayor Thomas Andes and Senator Anthony Bucco Jr. awarded a proclamation to the owners of Hunan Taste for their service in the community and in celebration of the Lunar Year.


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