CORONA DEL MAR — Antsy to begin, the 5- and 6-year-old students — some wearing red paper conical Chinese hats and holding musical instruments or accordion dragons on two Popsicle sticks — lined up.
"We're going to ring in the Lunar New Year," kindergarten teacher Michele Creason cheered with a ring of a handbell.
Harbor View Elementary School's annual kindergarten dragon parade began Wednesday afternoon with a cacophony of celebration as the student shook maracas, rang bells and triangles, and banged blocks and wooden sticks.
"Gung hay fat choy," shouted kindergartner Garrett Peard, 6. He was wishing his peers a happy new year in Chinese as he made his way around campus.
Led by a student wearing a decorative paper mache headpiece of a smiling man, followed by a dragon with sharp teeth, the parade snaked its way across campus. It was met with thunderous cheers from older students eating lunch. Others came out of their classrooms to join the festivities and celebrate Chinese New Year.
For second-grader Chloe Seybold, 8, the parade brought back good memories.
The parade was preceded by an Art Masters lesson on Chinese ink drawings in which the whole school participated by drawing bamboo, said Principal Charlene Metoyer.
The event is part of the kindergartners' study of multiculturalism, Creason said. The students learned about how the new year is celebrated and which foods are considered good luck, she said.
The parade was also just a lot of fun.
"It's fun when the holidays are here," Garrett said after the parade.