Argyle Lunar New Year parade in Uptown is back Saturday in-person

CHICAGO (WLS) -- It's not virtual this year. The Argyle Lunar New Year celebration is back in-person in Chicago's Uptown neighborhood.

"The parade is pretty small. I always refer to it as a grassroots parade, especially compared to Chinatown," said Greg Carroll, Uptown United & Uptown Chamber of Commerce.

Lunar New Year is a major celebration throughout Asia and for many people of Asian descent in the U.S.

Sun Wah BBQ serves some special dishes that bring good fortune for the new year. They include cake and roast pork.

"Out of all the holidays that we have on the calendar, this is the one that means the most in terms of being together with your family," said Kelly Cheng, Sun Wah BBQ.

The Asia on Argyle district is home to many Asian American-owned restaurants and shops.

"I think more than ever it is important for us to celebrate the Lunar New Year because we really want to showcase the wonderful businesses along Argyle," Carroll said.

The parade always brings some newcomers to the neighborhood who become repeat customers at area establishments.

"Usually parade day means there are 240 people sitting in all the seats and there is another 40 people waiting to get in," Cheng said.

At a nearby flower shop, business always blossoms for Lunar New Year.

"Lunar New Year is one of the biggest flower holidays of the year. So it's big deal. There's a lot of superstition tied with plants and flowers during this time," said Ellen Duong, Qideas.

With the dramatic rise of anti-Asian hate crimes across the country, for many Asian-Americans Lunar New Year is a much needed celebration.

"The Lunar New Year parade is super fun," Duong said. "I think it is a really great time to share culture and be prideful of it."

The parade steps off Saturday at 1 p.m. at Argyle & Winthrop.
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