CWU News

Canceled: Community Lunar New Year Celebration hosted by CWU-Sammamish

Cancellation poster for Lunar New Year celebrationUPDATE:  Out of an abundance of caution, the Sammamish Lunar New Year Celebration scheduled for Saturday, January 25 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. has been canceled. Due to the recent public health concern in the region, community organizers have decided to take precautionary measures and be sensitive to the community by canceling all performances, activities, and events for the day. Thank you for your understanding.


From January 25, 2020 through February 11, 2021 is considered the Year of the Rat in Chinese astrology—the first in the 12-year cycle of Chinese zodiac. The Lunar New Year will be celebrated at the third annual Sammamish community Lunar New Year Celebration.

It will be held Saturday, January 25, from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. As many as 3,000 people are expected to attend the celebration, which will be hosted by CWU-Sammamish (120 228th Ave. N.E.).

The celebration will feature dragon and lion dances, music and theatrical performances, martial arts demonstrations, visual arts, and a variety of interactive booths activities, such as paper lantern-making and watching a traditional tea ceremony. In addition, for the first time, CWU’s portable digital planetarium will also be part of the event.

“Since it’s digital, it contains lots of information, including constellations from a few different cultures,” said Bruce Palmquist, CWU physics professor. “One of the constellation choices is the Chinese sky. During the presentations, I will give an overview of the nighttime sky in general and, then, highlight some of the Chinese constellations.”

As the Lunar New Year is recognized worldwide, the event will have an emphasis on culture, heritage, and history from several nations, along with China.

The celebration is sponsored and developed by a planning committee comprised of representative of the City of Sammamish, Skyline High School Chinese classes, Seattle Chinese New Immigrants Center, Sammamish Chinese School and WaHaHa Youth Club, Sammamish YMCA, and CWU.

“It’s because of the committee—and the especially the volunteers we have for the event—that it runs so smoothly,” said Chris Jordan, City of Sammamish recreation manager, who oversees event logistics. “It’s grown because so many people are involved and care about what is a very inclusive celebration.”

With the exception of food trucks, which will serve on-site Asian-inspired food and refreshments, all of the activities and events and free and open to the public. Parking is limited. Attendees can access a free shuttle service from both Eastlake High School and Eastside Catholic High School, which will operate from 12:30 to 4:30 p.m. on the day of the event.

For additional information, visit the City of Sammamish Parks and Recreation website or call (425) 295-0524.  

A partnership between CWU and the City of Sammamish, CWU-Sammamish provides undergraduate classes, which are open to the public. Starting next fall, Bachelor of Arts Liberal Studies major and minor programs will be launched, adding to the Master of Science in Information Technology and Administrative Management degree which was added this year.

“We’re excited and pleased about the opportunity to expand the courses we are able to provide to the Sammamish community—not to mention the services—like our STEM [science, technology, engineering, and mathematics] Cats! summer camps for middle school students,” said Elyane Harney, CWU-Sammamish site director. “The interest and acceptance of CWU-Sammamish by the community has been phenomenal.”

Continuing education, with lifelong learning opportunities, instruction, and training, is also available at CWU-Sammamish, along with public programs that meet the needs of those wanting to enhance their professional skills or explore a personal interest.

In addition, CWU-Sammamish offers tuition-free Running Start college courses for high school students, which allows them to simultaneously earn high school and college credits.

Media contact: Robert Lowery, Department of Public Affairs, 509-963-1487,