JANUARY 16, 2018, AVALON, CATALINA ISLAND – The Catalina Island Museum and Catalina Island Chamber of Commerce are bringing a traditional Chinese Lion Dance performance to Avalon! The Lunar New Year (or Chinese New Year) celebration will take place during First Fridays at the Museum on Friday, February 2.

The upcoming First Fridays at the Museum event will feature a performance by the Immortals Awaken Lion Troupe. A preview of the performance will be held on Wrigley Stage at 3:30 pm on February 2nd and the full Lion Dance taking place at the Catalina Island Museum later that evening at 7:00 pm. The event will also feature a paper lantern art activity, a Chinese New Year photo op, fortune cookies, Chinese beer, sake and more!

The Chinese believe the lion signifies courage, stability and superiority. The Lion Dance – in which performers mimic a lion’s movements in costume – is usually performed during the Chinese New Year and other special occasions. The dance chases away ghosts and evil spirits bringing good luck and fortune for the new year. Every movement of the lion has a specific musical rhythm accompanied by cymbals, a gong and drums. This lively dance combines art, history and kung fu moves. The performers are typically kung fu practitioners and the troupe consists of up to 11 people.

“We are thrilled to bring this unique cultural opportunity to the Avalon community,” said Catalina Island Museum Executive Director Julie Perlin Lee. “I’d like to thank the Catalina Island Chamber of Commerce for their support in helping to make this happen. Our hope is to continue to grow the Lunar New Year celebration each February.”

In addition to the performance, First Fridays at the Museum will offer an opportunity to paint paper lanterns and have your photo taken to celebrate the upcoming Chinese New Year: The Year of the Dog. If you were born in 1922, 1934, 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006 or those born this year, your Chinese zodiac sign is the dog. Accordingly, dogs are honest and loyal just like the family pet. If you were born under the sign of the dog, you are helpful and you have integrity but you are not so good at communicating so you appear stubborn.

First Fridays at the Museum will take place on Friday, February 2nd from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm. The museum will re-open for this event at 6:00 pm. The Lion Dance will begin at 7:00 pm with the art project to follow. Supplies are included. Tickets are $20 for museum members, $25 for non-members and $10 for children (ages 3-15). All children must be accompanied by an adult. Each ticket includes the performance, art project and a fortune cookie. Chinese beer, sake, wine, domestic beer, soda and water will be available for purchase. No outside food or drink allowed.

Tickets may be purchased in person at the museum, online via CatalinaMuseum.org, or by phone at 310-510-2414. Visit CatalinaMuseum.org for more information.

The Catalina Island Museum offers the best in art and history exhibitions, music and dance performances, lectures by guest speakers from all over the world, and the finest in silent, documentary and international film. Open seven days a week from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm, except New Year’s Day, Independence Day, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day. The museum’s new Ada Blanche Wrigley Schreiner Building is located in the heart of Avalon at 217 Metropole Avenue. For more information, call 310-510-2414 or visit CatalinaMuseum.org.