East meets West as Las Vegas celebrates Chinese New Year

Las Vegas is preparing to celebrate the new year once again as revelers welcome the Year of the Rooster on Saturday.

Chinese New Year is a big event in Las Vegas, which recently opened the Lucky Dragon, a hotel that caters to Chinese and Chinese American visitors.

Here’s a look at some of the festivities.

The Linq Promenade

A four-day weekend of festivities kicks off Friday and continues through Monday at the Linq Promenade, the growing dining, entertainment and retail district.

Professional and local Chinese dancers will perform daily, with dragon dances each evening at 6 at the Fountain Stage. The High Roller observation wheel, the pedestrian mall’s biggest attraction, will be illuminated in red and gold to honor the occasion.

Remember, parking fees are being introduced at the Caesars Entertainment properties along Las Vegas Boulevard, including the Linq Promenade. 

The Shops at Crystals

Shoppers will witness spiritual and cultural activities at the Shops at Crystals, the luxury mall at CityCenter.

 A monk from Blue Lotus, a meditation center in Las Vegas, will offer a traditional blessing in the center at 9 a.m. Friday.

At noon Saturday, lion dancers will perform.

The Forum Shops

The Forum Shops at Caesars plan to lure visitors with a variety of celebrations to mark the Lunar New Year.

A 22-foot-long dragon, an important creature in Chinese mythology, sits near the entrance to the mall. The beast boasts 30,000 red and amber lights and will be on display throughout the holiday season.

For the 21st consecutive year, the upscale retail center will host a dragon parade featuring students from the Meadows School.

At 10 a.m. Monday, 120 schoolchildren including a cast of singers and dancers will wind their way past the stores. They’ll be joined by the school’s founder, Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman.

The Bellagio Conservatory

A holiday wouldn’t be quite as special without a floral tribute created by the wizards at the Bellagio Conservatory & Botanical Garden. Through March 4, guests will be awed by the 22,000 flowers in multiple displays.

In the East Bed, visitors take a walkway past giant red roses —  they’re made from lentils — before passing through the 16-foot-tall Moon Gate.

Nearby, incense burns in ding pots as a traditional way to ward off bad fortune.

Two children crafted from hundreds of flowers stand on either side of the bridge across a koi pond in the South Bed. As the children appear to fish, acrylic cherry blossoms adorn a giant tree behind them.

The displays are open 24 hours a day and there is no admission charge.

The Venetian and the Palazzo

Stunning displays also adorn the Venetian and the Palazzo, adjoining, sister resorts.

The centerpiece, at the Palazzo’s Waterfall Atrium and Gardens, is a 15-foot-tall fire rooster. The steel-and-resin sculpture, weighing 3,500 pounds, was hand-painted before being studded with nearly 70,000 crystals.

Nearby, a colorful dragon rises from a pool of water.

Throughout the resorts, eight smaller roosters, hand-painted by a team of six artists, also honor the holiday.

The hotels will host a lion parade complete with firecrackers at 3 p.m. Saturday.

Starting at the Venetian’s porte cochere, the parade, complete with dancers and drummers in traditional costume, will proceed through both properties.

Wynn-Encore

Many resorts will also be creating special menus to celebrate Chinese New Year. At Wynn-Encore, a popular dim sun brunch will return to Wing Lei, an award-winning Chinese restaurant.

The special meal will be served from Friday through Feb. 5. It costs $68.88 and $58.88 for children 5 and younger. (The prices result from the fact that eight is considered lucky in Chinese culture.)

Three oversize roosters can be found in the hotels’ atria. Each is 9 feet tall and covered with gold leaf.

A dragon and lion dance will be performed at 6 p.m. Monday beginning at the Wynn’s south valet entrance.

Lucky Dragon

Another lion dance will be held at 6 p.m. Saturday at Lucky Dragon.

Executive Chef Phuoc Luu will be serving a special prix fixe menu at Pearl Ocean, one of the resort’s restaurants. The meal is priced at $238, but that is for four people. 

The authentic and intriguing choices include lotus root, black moss and pork tongue soup; stir-fried conch; wok-fried shark fin; and crispy fried oysters.

The meal will be served Saturday through Feb. 5.

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Copyright © 2017, Los Angeles Times

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