Kids enjoy Chinese New Year celebration at Discovery Museum

SAUSALITO, Calif. (KGO) -- School may have been out on this Presidents Day, but learning didn't take a holiday in Marin during a Lunar New Year celebration.

Three lion dancers entertained young visitors at the Bay Area Discovery Museum in Sausalito. The museum partnered with the Marin Chinese Cultural Association. As many as 3,000 people came out to welcome the Year of the Monkey, and this year, there was also an exhibit on life in China.

Amy Eisenmann from the Discovery Museum explained, "Homes are smaller, so appliances have to be smaller. Many Chinese prefer to go to the market to pick up fresh produce every day, so they don't need to store as many things necessarily in the fridge as we do."

ABC7 News anchor Natasha Zouves emceed the event. The Marin Chinese Cultural Association Lion Dance Team performed in Festival Plaza while crowds enjoyed food ranging from cha siu bao to chow mein. A storyteller from the Asian Art Museum celebrated oral tradition by telling children the tale of Nian, the new year, as well as the history of the zodiac. Crowds also gathered to watch a martial arts demonstration by 10,000 Victories Kung Fu.

Volunteers from The Marin Chinese Cultural Association turned out to help put on this event. The local non-profit works to promote and preserve Chinese culture, and the group notably provides free Mandarin lessons to the community in San Rafael.

It's the 20th year the Bay Area Discovery Museum has held a Chinese New Year celebration, and it typically draws the museum's largest attendance of the year.

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