With 2012 upon us, we are indeed entering the Dragon — the water dragon, to be exact. It's a year in the Chinese zodiac we haven't been in since 1952, a year that found Dwight D. Eisenhower — who would later warn of the military-industrial complex — elected president, the hydrogen bomb introduced and a U.S. unemployment rate of 3.3 percent. We can only hope that 2012, which so far finds Republicans booing the Golden Rule and the European economy collapsing, will benefit from the temperance water is said to bestow upon the fiery, fearless Dragon. Usher in a prosperous and peaceful year at the 113th Annual Golden Dragon Parade and Chinese New Year Festival in Chinatown, with hundreds of decorated floats, cars, dancers, cultural workshops and the nation's “best Chinese acts” (not to mention the 1,000 themed cupcakes that will be given out); or go hard-core in Monterey Park with that city's Chinese New Year Celebration, which has drawn 100,000 attendees in years past and features live entertainment, amusement rides, food booths, specialty vendors, traditional lion and dragon dancers and firecrackers — lots of firecrackers. Chinatown: 943 N. Broadway, Chinatown. Golden Dragon Parade, Sat., Jan. 28, 1-4 p.m.; festival Sat., Jan. 28, noon-8 p.m.; Sun., Jan. 29, noon-5 p.m.; lagoldendragonparade.com. Monterey Park: Chinese New Year Festival, on Garvey Avenue, between Garfield and Nicholson, Monterey Park; Sat.-Sun., Jan. 28-29, 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m.

Sat., Jan. 28; Sun., Jan. 29, 2012

LA Weekly