Date: Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021; 9:45 a.m.-7:30 p.m.
Location: St. Paul-Changsha China Friendship Garden, Phalen Regional Park
1600 Phalen Dr. E, Saint Paul
The Moon Festival, also known as Mid-Autumn Festival, is the second most important festival in China. Chinese travel for days to get back to their home villages for family reunions, lugging baskets of gifts (usually fruit and mooncakes!).
This year, the official date of the Moon Festival is Tuesday, Sept. 21.
Date: Saturday, 10 a.m., July 13
Location: Xiang Jiang Pavilion, Phalen Regional Park, Saint Paul
The MCFGS will hold a grand opening ceremony of the St. Paul–Changsha China Friendship Garden at the Phalen-Keller Regional Park located in Saint Paul on July 13. It will take place on the first day of the Dragon Festival at 10 a.m. at the Xiang Jiang Pavilion. St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter will attend along with other state and city officials and esteemed guests from St. Paul’s sister city, Changsha, Hunan Province, a relationship that began more than 30 years ago.
The July 13 celebration will begin with a dragon and lion dance procession from the dragon boat area to the Xiang Jiang Pavilion for the ribbon cutting ceremony. This will be followed by several short speeches, Hmong and Chinese cultural performances, and the reading of the winning poem in the Qu Yuan poetry contest. There also will be a number of cultural family friendly activities at the Pavilion until 1 p.m. including a Hmong Pandau demonstration, zongzi making, Chinese painting, big brush calligraphy, photo opportunities, and more.
The garden, officially named the St. Paul-Changsha China Friendship Garden of Whispering Willows and Flowing Waters or Liu Ming Yuan, sits on a 1.2-acre site at Phalen Park and is a sister-city collaboration between the cities of St. Paul and Changsha, Hunan Province and the Changsha Yanghu Wetland Park, facilitated by the MCFGS.
After years of planning and fundraising efforts, the garden finally took root in 2018 as the sister-cities followed through with the gift exchange that included a replica of Changsha’s Aiwan Pavilion and St. Paul sending five Peanuts character statues to Changsha’s Yanghu Wetland Park. The Xiang Jiang Pavilion was erected last fall, accompanied by a Hmong Heritage Wall Sculpture to representing the cultural and historical connection between the Hmong in Minnesota and the Hmong in the Changsha area. Changsha sent a team of 13 artisans to assist and train the construction crew to reconstruct the replica gift pavilion. The West Entrance Archway entry to the garden is currently under construction. The next phase of the project will complete the landscaping from the Pavilion to the water and establish a Hmong Cultural Plaza. The garden will eventually include an East Entrance Moongate and Donor Wall, an enclosed classroom pavilion, a Tai Qi plaza, a covered walkway and a small viewing pavilion.
"It's more beautiful than anything we imagined when we started this project so many years ago," said Linda Mealey-Lohmann, president and co-founder of the Minnesota China Friendship Garden Society.
To celebrate the grand opening of the St. Paul-Changsha China Friendship Garden, an award ceremony and banquet to recognize and honor all of the volunteers and donors will be held at the St. Paul Hotel on July 12, 2019. Attending the ceremony will be St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter along with other distinguished guests, including Senator FoungHawj, Representative Tim Mahoney, and several dignitaries from St. Paul’s sister city, Changsha. In addition to celebrating this sister relationship, the celebration will recognize the 40th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and the United States.
Experience the many traditions of Asian culture in the beauty of Lake Phalen and Lake Phalen Regional Park setting in St. Paul the second weekend of July.
Dragon boat racing begins at 1 p.m. each day, with team practices in the mornings (currently, 14 teams have registered for Saturday and 12 teams for Sunday). Teams may still join through July 1.
An inspiring lion dance performance will kick off the fun. Saturday morning Also enjoy an entertaining cultural array of musical performances, martial arts demonstrations, food trucks and outdoor food court. Many special children activities including a visit from the Minnesota Zoo’s petting zoo.
Saturday also commemorates the grand opening of the St. Paul-Changsha China Friendship Garden of Whispering Willows and Flowing Waters at Phalen Park (also known as Liu Ming Yuan). Starting at 10:30 a.m., a ribbon cutting by St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter and a delegation from St. Paul sister city Changsha will be followed by cultural performances and family-friendly activities including calligraphy, Chinese painting and more.
Special thanks to Dragon Festival sponsors and their support to make this community festival free and open to the public. Jade sponsors: Mystic Lake, Wells Fargo. Gold sponsors: Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota. Bronze sponsors: Excel Energy, State Farm.
Please visit dragonfestival.org for more information about the 2019 Dragon Festival event, location, parking and boat races.
Chinese New Year 2017 (Year of the Rooster) arrives Jan. 28. For the extensive overseas Chinese community of Minnesota, 2017 is destined to be something out of the ordinary, a year that will touch people’s hearts!
Mall of America will work hand-in-hand with the local Chinese community to organize and present a magnificent and all-encompassing Chinese New Year celebration at the Mall on January 28. This event will mark the largest and grandest Chinese New Year Celebration ceremony ever to take place in the state of Minnesota. Everyone “from the eight points of the compass” is invited to share in the pleasures of the Chinese New Year!
Free entry to July 11-12 family event on shores of Lake Phalen in St. Paul
[SAINT PAUL] The 2015 Dragon Festival, inspired by the Asian tradition of dragon-boat races, has added modern touches for a more interactive, hands-on experience that draws on all the senses.
By Greg Hugh
A reception was recently held in the atrium of the U.S. Courthouse in Minneapolis to open a new exhibit, “Asian Pacific Legal Experience in America,” presented by the United States District Court for the District of Minnesota.
The exhibition consists of 24 banners that show in pictures and text the legal history of Asian Pacific peoples in the United States through three pivotal events: the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, the Japanese American Incarceration during WWII, and the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965.
By Greg Hugh
The annual Festival of Nations (FON) has been an event for the Chinese American Association of Minnesota (CAAM ) to both promote Chinese culture and raise funds since 1977. For four days starting April 30 through May 3 and with more than 200 volunteers, CAAM is involved in all facets of the festival. CAAM’s Chinese cafe, Chinese cultural exhibit, Chinese dance performances, Chinese calligraphy demonstration and Chinese bazaar have consistently been among the most popular attractions at the festival.