When you live in Chinatown, you start to take the dragon and lion dances—a traditional form of Chinese dance that is said to bring good luck and fortune—for granted. But the performances are longer and more elaborate during Dragon Fest, taking on extra festive overtones as the team of performers maneuvers and manipulates the long, undulating bodies down the streets of the I.D. using poles positioned along their length, coordinating with the throbbing beat and crashing cymbals issued by the accompanying percussion players. It is quite the sight. Dragon Fest also boasts 14 hours of cultural performances outside of these dances—traditional Korean drumming, bhangra/Bollywood presentations, martial arts demos, and Pacific Islander dances, among others. Plus, there’s the $3 Food Walk (encompassing more than 40 restaurants), and a range of temporary vendors hawking food, goods, and bevvies galore.
by Leilani Polk
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