If 2011 hasn't gotten off to the awesome start you'd hoped for, try again by celebrating 4709, the Chinese New Year commencing on Feb. 3. The 112th annual Golden Dragon Parade serves as the centerpiece to Chinatown's Chinese New Year Festival, the Downtown L.A.-adjacent community's annual New Year's celebration; floats, marching bands and dignitaries in cars travel along a parade route viewable from both Broadway and Hill streets (Sat., 1 p.m.). The fanfare goes on all weekend, including lion dancers, acrobats, contortionists and performance troupes in Chinatown's Central Plaza; vendors selling original art, fashion, gifts, toys and home accessories at the L.A. Craft Experience in the West Plaza, along with cultural workshops for adults and kids and a pingpong tournament; plus "The Great Chinatown Hunt," a clue-solving scavenger hunt organized by Race/L.A. (info at racela.com), the Firecracker 5K/10K Walk/Run (register at firecracker10k.org), and food trucks galore. Central and West Plazas in Chinatown, near 947 N. Broadway, dwntwn.; Sat., Feb. 5, 10 a.m.-8 p.m.; Sun., Feb. 6, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; free. Full schedule at chinatownla.com.
Sat., Feb. 5, 10 a.m.-8 p.m.; Sun., Feb. 6, 10 a.m.-8 p.m., 2011