Students to celebrate Chinese New Year

You won't see the usual scenery of bookbags and notebooks when you enter the halls of Cox Mill High School on Jan. 14.

Instead, you'll be transported into another culture - one of beauty, art and song - for the 2012 Chinese New Year Celebration.

The event is sponsored by the Chinese Community Network in association with the Cabarrus Chinese American Association (CCAA). The celebration is a showcase of Chinese culture, featuring the talents of over 70 performers.

At 1 p.m. the pre-show festivities begin in the hallways with activities and games for children, and booths featuring Chinese crafts, art and clothing, which will be for sale, from local business owners. Chinese restaurants will set up shop in the cafeteria, offering traditional cuisine.

Mike Wang, president and organizer of the CCAA, says their organization has grown since its inception in February of 2011.

"We are trying to get people connected, and bring Chinese culture," he said. "We are trying to work with the community, and see how we can help to promote diversity."

The event will be open to the public.

"We encourage everyone to come," he said. "People who want to know about the Chinese community."

At 2:30 p.m., the main show will begin and will include performances by RTP Singers Club, NC-RTP Chinese Music Instrument Ensemble and Pacific Arts Troupe.

Rich voices and musical melodies will reverberate throughout the auditorium, which seats up to 600 people. The bright, festive colors of Chinese dress will fill the stage during graceful dances, fashion shows and other artistic presentations.

The show will even include the talents of Cox Mill High students as they present American songs.

"We are trying to mix the cultures together," Wang said.

Cox Mill High School is at 1355 Cox Mill Road in Concord.

Adult tickets are $8 online, $10 at the door. Children ages 6-12 attend for $5, children under 6 attend free. Pre-show activities are free to the public.

All proceeds from the celebration will benefit CCAA's Chinese Language and Art School, founded in September 2011, and which holds classes at Cox Mill Elementary School on Saturdays.