Luckily, people forgot about nature’s nuisance when they saw a rainbow of kids dressed in Asian costumes marching to the stage.
Children 12 and under dressed in all sorts of colors and shapes. They lined up together in one row, fighting the freezing rain. Even the crying 1-year-old looked cute.
Some costumes were made up of a short shirt and pants. Most kids didn’t wear winter jackets or raincoats over their costumes, fearing that judges will fail to see their colorful costumes. Without complaining, the participants and their parents and grandparents waited patiently for the parade to start. During the parade, the parents become the heroes. Due to the long wait, I apologized to all the parents who were holding umbrellas to protect their kids from the rain.
“We don’t mind,” said one parent. Her words made me feel like the parade was worthwhile.
Their kids’ costumes were gorgeous and creative. One parent told us that her 5-year-old girl wanted to dress in a Korean costume. “My daughter really wants to do this.”
Accompanied by the International Lion Dance drummers, the bunny mascot led the parade of children with Vietnamese, Chinese, Korean, and Taiwanese costumes. The children modeled with grace and smiles. A couple of parents were forced to be models when tearful youngsters insisted that their mommy or daddy carry them on stage.
Compared to last year’s parade, kids were more cooperative this year.
They stood for a few seconds and walked off the stage. Last year, I had a hard time in getting some kids off of the stage. They stood there motionless, as if they knew they were the stars and should be there forever.
Some signed up for the parade during the last minute. Parents bought the costumes from nearby Chinatown shops.
Organized by the Northwest Asian Weekly, the Second Annual Children’s Costumes Parade and Contest is part of the CIDBIA’s ID Lunar New Year Festival. The winners received $100 cash for first place, $50 for second place, and $25 for third place. Six finalists received gifts in addition to fortune cookies and certificates, such as a Mickey Mouse toy, a panda bear, chopsticks, or a T-shirt.
The parade was sponsored by PepsiCo, KeyBank, Tsue Chong Noodle Co., Jim Doane, Ron Chow, New York Life, Sun Lew, Jade Garden Restaurant, Gee How Oak Tin, and Shiao-Yen Wu. ♦