Chinatown merchants hope for continued prosperity in Year of the Snake

Published On: Feb 02 2013 06:30:00 PM HST

Chinatown rang in the Chinese New Year with a parade through Hotel Street Saturday afternoon and the celebration lasted into the night.

It is fitting the traditional sounds of drumming welcome in the Year of the Snake, along with a day-long celebration, that featured a lot of food.  After all, those born under this sign are said to love music and delicious things to eat!

Thousands snake their way through the streets of Chinatown for shopping or some good luck during lion dances.

Many residents look forward to the New Year while Chinatown shops and restaurants are looking forward to another busy year.

Businesses say this event does more than just give people a taste of Chinese food -- it also lets them sample what's new in this old part of Honolulu.

This is where the devastating 1886 Chinatown fire began, and now, new business is heating things up.

At the site of the historic fire, restaurants and stores are opening up.

"Chinatown is growing more than anything else with newer restaurants and bars, it's a new scene for the younger generation and for the older generation to come and see the new restaurants coming through," said Jesse Cruz, owner of Lucky Belly.

Old and young not only got to see the cultural activities, some also took part in the day's celebrations for the Year of the Snake.

The event attracted quite a crowd, which is something businesses in Chinatown are seeing more of.

"We get lots of Japanese tourists and First Friday has gotten very big so that brings everyone here, so yeah, it's getting exciting," said Nicole Hesslink, who works at Roberta Oaks.

The Year of the Snake officially begins on Feb. 9.


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