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A festival postponed is better than a festival cancelled; this one was at the Holgate Library

DAVID F. ASHTON - These young performers with the Portland Arts and Cultural Center present the "Puppy Dog Dance".A brief, yet intense, blizzard swept across Southeast Portland on February 20, cancelling the annual "Lunar New Year" celebration planned that day for the Holgate Branch Library.

It seemed, for a while, as if everyone would have to wait until February 5 of next year for the next Lunar New Year to come around – until Multnomah County Library announced a special program, for the evening of May 15, which they called an "Asian Cultural Evening", at the same library.

"When weather cancelled our celebration in February, many were very sad and disappointed; but, we felt it was better for everyone to be safe," said Multnomah County Public Library Chinese Regional Librarian Toan Lam-Sullivan.

"Tonight, at our 'make up' celebration, we have seven groups performing music, dances, and martial arts," Lam-Sullivan said. "Because this is the 'Year of the Dog', I'm sure a favorite will be the children performing the 'Puppy Dog Dance' – it's so cute!"

Also in the library were craft activities – such as decorating small tote bags, and seeing one's name written by a Vietnamese calligrapher.

"The month of May being 'Asian Pacific Heritage' makes the timing fortuitous, providing an opportunity to commemorate and celebrate with our multicultural communities," Lam-Sullivan told THE BEE.

"And at this event, we enjoy celebrating and sharing our cultures with everyone in the community," Lam-Sullivan said. "It's also a way to show our communities that the library is respectful from a multicultural perspective; we're helpful to everyone, and we celebrate all peoples."

As the program went on, the audience swelled, with everyone present enjoying the colorful pageantry and lively music.

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