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South Coast Plaza celebration ushers in the Year of the Dog

South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa rolled out the red carpet for its opening celebration of the Lunar New Year on Tuesday night with a lion dance, a performance by the Hunan Art Troupe and more.

To commemorate the Year of the Dog, which begins Friday, the retail center also debuted a floral display at Jewel Court depicting eight dogs and a moon gate in an Asian garden with gold coins and ingots symbolizing good fortune and a firecracker floating overhead.

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The display was designed by South Coast Plaza and built by Fiesta Parade Floats, the leading float builder for the Tournament of Roses Parade.

The celebration, now in its eighth year and running through March 4, is considered bigger than any before, South Coast Plaza officials said. Many of the luxury shopping center’s boutiques, including Gucci, Prada, Miu Miu, Bally, Salvatore Ferragamo, Vacheron Constantin and Piaget, will offer themed products and in-store experiences.

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A new addition this year is “Tales of Tradition,” an art exhibit of 12 papier-mache dogs created by LIULI Crystal Art for South Coast Plaza and displayed throughout the center.

The Lunar New Year celebration is filled with family-friendly events, free activities and entertainment.

Events include:

  • A photo exhibit throughout the festival called “Building A New Bridge: President Nixon’s Legacy in Three Chinese Cities,” focusing on Nixon’s historic trip to China in 1972.

  • Free weekend entertainment from 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday through Monday and Feb. 24-25 in Carousel Court, featuring Asian cultural performances including the lion dance, plus children’s lantern crafts, a children’s variety show, K-pop performers, a Chinese zodiac expert, artisanal craft demonstrations and more.

To mark the occasion, shoppers can receive a limited-edition Year of the Dog crystal jar with a minimum purchase.

South Coast Plaza is at 3333 Bristol St. For more information, call (714) 435-8571 or visit southcoastplaza.com.

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