UPPER EAST SIDE — A Chinese dragon and colorful lion dancers will kick off the first ever Lunar New Year Celebration on Madison Avenue Feb. 6.
Brightly decorated double-decker buses will deliver the dancers from Chinatown's Lunar New Year celebration to Madison Avenue and East 76th Street, where the dancers will perform and begin their journey south to Midtown East, stopping in at shops that will be celebrating in their own ways, according to organizers.
"This is the first time in Chinese American history that this widely celebrated event will travel to the Upper East Side and East Midtown in New York City,” said Wellington Chen, the executive director of the Chinatown Partnership, in a statement.
The procession will start at Madison Avenue and East 76th Street at 11 a.m. and move down Madison Avenue, stopping at several shops along the way, including the Michael Kors near 67th Street, NARS, Coach and Bally, among others, until they stop at East 54th Street.
At least 17 Upper East Side stores will have their own offers: Nars will be giving away gifts and champagne and Mulberry at East 57th Street will be doling out beverages and sweets.
At roughly noon, when the parade reaches East 54th Street, a slew of indoor and outdoor Lunar New Year-themed programs will be held in and around the intersection, including performances from the New York Eastern Chamber Orchestra, Les Ballets de l'Opera Chinois de New York, calligraphy demonstrations, face painting, and a photo booth, according to organizers.
"I think there is a greater awareness all over New York City about the Lunar New Year and we're thrilled to be part of it," said Matthew Bauer, the president of the Madison Avenue BID, which for the first time partnered with the East Midtown Partnership and the Chinatown Partnership to bring the event to the Upper East Side.
"A lot of folks if they celebrate, this will be a new opportunity, and if they didn’t know about it or never celebrated it, this is a great introduction."
See a map of participating stores below: