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2022 Lunar New Year Festival: Year of the Tiger

Pei Sim

2022 Lunar New Year Festival: Year of the Tiger 

Last month we hosted our first ever Lunar New Year festival alongside Kathy Phan. We sat down to plan this community event in the Summer of 2021 after we identified a gap and need for a Lunar New Year celebration within the East Austin creative community. Our goal for the event was to showcase Asian-owned small businesses while carving out a space to celebrate Asian culture.

Our First Annual Lunar New Year Festival In East Austin

On February 6th, we got to ring in the new year with over 20 other Asian-owned small businesses and 1500+ attendees from our community here in Austin. This festival was important to me because it was a fun way to celebrate the Year of The Tiger and also an opportunity for those who are unfamiliar with this Lunar New Year to learn about this culturally important celebration. Although it’s commonly referred to as the Chinese New Year, a more inclusive term in the U.S. is to call it Lunar New Year as this holiday spans various countries and takes many different names, including: Seollal in South Korea and Tết (or Spring Festival) in Vietnam. 

A portion of our vendor fees went directly to benefit the Austin Asian Family Support Services which is an amazing nonprofit organization created for helping Asian families in our city.

In addition to our vendor market, our festival consisted of kid-friendly activities including a specially crafted coloring sheet designed by Steffi Lynn, a book reading of “E is for Egg Tart” by the author/illustrator, Jessica Lam, an interactive aerial set up by our neighbor Sky Candy and last but not least, the amazing lion + dragon dance performance by members of the Texas Dragon/Lion Dance Team.

The overwhelming response leading up to this event showed both Kathy and I just how important it was for not only the Austin community but to all the amazing vendors. Many of our vendors shared that it was a memorable event for them as it was the first time they have been at an event where they were showcased alongside so many other Asian-owned small businesses. Our vendors felt represented and had so much pride in getting to be a part of this event; many told us it was their best market and pop-up to date.  It felt really special to co-host an event that allowed our vendors to feel such a sense of pride with their heritage and culture as well as for our community to be a part of. The importance of supporting small businesses doesn’t end with our event, check out our 2022 Lunar New Year Festival vendor line up below and go give these incredible women your support!   

2022 Lunar New Year Featured Vendors 

A Huge Thank You

We are so incredibly grateful for all of you who showed up to our festival, it was by far our biggest attended event to date! We couldn’t have done it without our amazing shop team as well as volunteers. Our vendors who took a chance on this first event, local friends, influencers and media who shared about this event as well as Stef Shapira with Stef Shapira Consulting who supported us with marketing this festival!

And last but not least, our neighbors + fellow small businesses at Springdale General who celebrated with us!

Next Year’s Plans

Kathy and I have already met to regroup post festival and have made all the notes for our 2023 plans. We hope you had an amazing time at our first annual festival and we cannot wait to continue this annual tradition for years to come! 

2022 Lunar New Year Festival Photos 

All photos by Kelly Zhu Photo