Honoring the ‘Ram’

Festival raises funds

The Student Services Center patio was crowded with about 150 people celebrating the Chinese New Year’s Festival Feb. 25 at Los Medanos College.

Although Honors Program Enrichment Officer Collin Brown expected the festival to be successful, he said, “I didn’t expect it to be this awesome already.”

The festival included events such as a Chinese Calligraphy Workshop, Chopstick Showdown, T’ai Chi Workshop and a performance by Lion Dancers. The idea for the festival came from Brown’s desire to do something different, and took a few months to plan.

“We’ve never done a Chinese New Year’s Festival on campus before, at least that I’m aware of,” Brown said. “We wanted to do something that was really different that brought out a lot of creativity, a lot of color, vibrancy to the campus — especially with the new Student Services Center.”

The festival’s food booth was a fundraiser for the Honors Program and sold out quickly.

According to Honors Program Officer Christine Fountain, the restaurant that provided the food was Asian Kitchen. They “worked amazingly with us,” she said. “They were A+.”

Vegetarian fried rice, vegetarian chow mein, broccoli and beef and sweet and sour chicken were available for sale as bowls or as combos.

“It was fantastic. We had the food out at 11:30, we were completely sold out by 1:30,” said Honors Program Officer Jennifer Baney. “I mean I know that we’re feeding college kids but it was just like — boom.”

“The faculty was absolutely amazing,” she added. “They were so supportive. We picked a perfect spot because their offices are right next door and they’re coming out and like ‘just keep the change’.”

The T’ai Chi Workshop seemed to have worked for Brown.

“It was hectic and it relaxed me.” he said, “I think that at least having something to do was awesome because otherwise … there would’ve been a really long segment where there’s nothing going on.”

The workshop was hosted by Danny Ramirez, a philosophy instructor who also teaches in the Honors Program.

The festival ended with a performance by the Lion Dancers.

“It was awesome in my opinion,” said Brown.

Student Kendall Paige agreed.

“They were fabulous. They were really in sync with each other like the little foot movements — I could’ve never done that. That was amazing,” said Paige, “The music was really in sync with the dancing, I was really amazed at how loud it was for no speaker. Hearable from all over the campus, I’m pretty sure.”

Afterward, the Lion Dancers allowed members of the audience to take pictures with them and their giant lions.

Brown said the festival was a huge success thanks in part to LMCAS. Baney said LMCAS was a huge contributor to the festival.

The Year of the Ram has now started and Brown said he hopes the Chinese Festival will become an annual event.