The 15th Annual Firecracker Ceremony and Cultural Festival included live traditional music, dragon dancers, and a fireworks show.
“It was loud,” said Brandon Eng, 17, of the fireworks. “It was a good show.”
After the fireworks, people kept the party going with recorded Chinese pop music. Crowds of people danced throughout the park, stopping to take pictures of the decorations and a divine guest.
"That's the prosperity god," said Kelvin Zheng, 24, pointing at a man dressed in red and gold with his face covered in pink paint. "We worship him and ask for prosperity during the new year."
For Zheng, the real party will be on Sunday, when the Chinese New Year Parade comes to Chinatown. After that, his family will have a traditional dinner in their Brooklyn home.
The Empire State Building will join celebration Friday night by shining red and gold lights over the city.