Lunar New Year Celebration held at the Syria Shriners Center


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The Organization of Chinese Americans presented a colorful and exciting event to celebrate the Lunar New Year 4712 on Saturday evening at the Syria Shriners Center. More than 400 guests browsed a silent auction or posed in Qing dynasty emperor and empress costumes for professional photos. Upon entering the ballroom, it was hard not to notice the dazzling beauties onstage having their pictures taken by a slew of photographers. This event hosts more beauty pageant title winners than any other outside the pageant circuit, according to Randy Sanders, state director of Pageant Associates.

WTAE's Sally Wiggin, looking lovely in a black velvet pantsuit, emceed the event. As guests sat down to a 12-course Mandarin-style dinner, they were entertained by a colorful lion dance. Two dancers performed inside each of the lions, making a vibrant show to the beat of drums. Roberto Clemente Jr., who was honored at the event, got the somewhat inattentive audience's notice during his speech, reminding them, "When someone is at the microphone, you should be listening."

After that moment of intrigue, the attention turned back to the performers, including the talented young dancers, OCA Golden Butterflies, OCA Lotus Blossoms and an advanced OCA dancer performing "New Season," which seemed a fitting tribute to the event. Tim Urban, of "American Idol's" ninth season, gave a special guest performance.


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