Walk into the center court of the Santa Anita Mall and you can't miss the 120-feet, 600 pound steel and aluminum dragon hanging from the ceiling.
The dragon, which took twelve artists 17 days to construct, is part of the mall's Lunar New Year celebration, which culminates in a public festival Feb. 23. Other decorations include a pagoda, kumquat trees, a wishing tree and Chinese lanterns strung throughout the Promenade.
Check out the attached time-lapse video of the dragon's construction.
Mall officials say the celebration recognizes the Asian community's increasing importance in Arcadia and the greater San Gabriel Valley. According to the 2010 census, Asians now make up 59.2 percent of the population in Arcadia alone.
"Westfield Santa Anita serves the greater San Gabriel Valley area and the Asian community is very strong in this area," District Marketing Director Steve Jaffe said. "It's important that we serve the community and provide events and other things here at the center that resonate with the community, and the Lunar New Year definitely does that."
"It's like Christmas," he added.
The festival will have live performances, lion dancers, Chinese calligraphy demonstrations, art displays and crafts tables, along with a Year of the Snake photo booth.
The mall plans to continue expanding its offerings to Asian customers even after the New Year festivities have come to a close. Two popular China-based Sichuan restaurant chains will open locations at Santa Anita. Hot pot eatery Hai Di Lao is slated to open this summer, while Meizhou Dongpo is slated to open in early 2014.
If You Go:
- What: Lunar New Year Celebration
- Where: Westfield Santa Anita Mall, 400 Baldwin Ave. in Arcadia
- Date: Saturday, Feb. 23.
- Time: 2 p.m.-6 p.m.
- Cost: Free