CHICAGO, Feb. 25 (Xinhua) -- Dozens of people line for photos with Chinese dancing lions as thousands of visitors attending free program of Chinese New Year Celebration by municipal government in Navy Pier of Chicago this weekend.
Not only traditional Chinese lion dance, four-hour intermittent performance of Chinese drum and music, Kong Fu, Chinese dance and Chi Pao (a body-hugging one-piece Chinese dress for women) fashion show by Chinese Fine Arts Society staged at Grand Ballroom of Navy Pier, one of the most visited attractions in U.S. Midwest.
"The Chinese lions are so cute and my baby just cannot help touching," Julie Scott, mother of a three-year-old baby, told Xinhua. For Julie and many other visitors, having selfies with Chinese lions is a must-do for the event.
Themed "Global Connections: Chinese New Year," the city government sponsored activity offers visitors colorful experience, you can either have a taste of Chinese dim sum, or learn about Chinese medicine, paper cutting. On the two sides of the central stage, there are many stalls selling Chinese handicrafts.
"I love Chinese food, and I always have dinners with my good friends in Chinatown," said Sierra Nicole. She and her boyfriend bought a box of craft chopsticks from the vendors.
Chicago is the first city in the U.S. to launch Chinese New Year celebration in the name of city government, and 2018 will be the fifth year for the City of Chicago to mark Chinese New Year.
Chicago has paid much attention to obtain Chinese investment and attract more Chinese tourists. There is a huge potential to expand the market.
Thanks to all efforts made, total domestic and oversea visitors to Chicago reached 53.91 million in 2016, an increase of 2.5 percent from record 52.59 million in 2015. To be specific, domestic visitation was a record 52.35 million, an increase of 2.7 percent from 2015; overseas visitation is estimated at 1.466 million, according to statistics provided by Choose Chicago.