CWU News

CWU-Sammamish to Host Community Chinese New Year Celebration

Year of the Dog symbolThis is the Year of the Dog in Chinese astrology. That aspect, and many other elements of Chinese culture, will be showcased at the first Sammamish community Chinese New Year Cultural Celebration. It will be held Saturday, February 10, from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. at CWU-Sammamish (120 228th Ave. N.E.). As many as 1,500 people are expected to attend.

“This is the first, large event of its kind in the Sammamish area,” said Shawn Lowney, CWU director for Community and Corporate Relations. “There are lots of great celebrations that already take place here—the Farmer’s Market, Salmon Days, and Fourth of July events. But this is different in that it focuses on a cultural theme and includes a strong educational element.”

The celebration will open with a lion dance, conclude with a dragon performance, and feature martial arts demonstration, traditional Chinese music, and other visual and performing arts. There will be interactive booths for children, where they can learn Chinese calligraphy, painting, and lantern making; master the use of chopsticks; play with a Chinese yoyo; view a traditional tea ceremony; and have a photo taken in Chinese attire.

“Based on the fact that it’s the start of the Lunar New Year—which is recognized both here and in China—this first event will focus on Chinese culture, heritage, and history,” Lowney added, noting it is just the inaugural event planned. “In future years, we would like to see this expand to include other cultures and components.”

The celebration is also sponsored by the City of Sammamish, Skyline High School Chinese classes, Seattle Chinese New Immigrants Center, Sammamish Chinese School and WaHaHa Youth Club, and Sammamish YMCA.

“We reached out to the [City of Sammamish] arts commission when we heard there was interest in hosting a cultural event at CWU-Sammamish,” Lowney explained, pertaining to how the celebration came about. “As an institution, we’re committed to diversity and that includes all of our University Centers and instructional sites. This is another way we show our appreciation for and support of multiple cultures.”

With the exception of food trucks that will be on-site serving Asian-inspired food and refreshments, all of the activities and events and free and open to the public. For additional information, call the City of Sammamish Parks and Recreation department at (425) 295-0524.

A partnership between the City of Sammamish and Central Washington University, CWU-Sammamish provides general education undergraduate classes, which are open to the public, along with tuition-free college courses for area high school students, allowing them to simultaneously earn high school and college credits. Continuing education, with lifelong learning opportunities, instruction, and training, is also available, along with public programs that meet the needs of those wanting to enhance their professional skill set or explore a personal interest.

“Our desire is to become even more a part of this community and demonstrate that CWU-Sammamish is a leader for education for all ages,” Lowney added.  

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