The Far East will come to downtown Riverside today as the city celebrates the arrival of the Lunar New Year.
For the third consecutive year, the city will host the “Inland Empire Lunar Fest,” featuring a parade, martial arts demonstrations, Asian cuisine and dancing.
Festivities get under way at 10 a.m. with an international parade along the Main Street pedestrian mall, from 10th Street to Mission Inn Avenue.
Afterward, five tea pavilions will open at Lemon Street and Mission Inn Avenue — the hub of the day’s activities, according to organizers.
Teas from China, Japan, Korea, India and Thailand will be served.
Members of the Tai Mantis Kung-Fu Academy will hold demonstrations between 11:45 a.m. and 12:15 p.m. They will be followed by group and individual martial arts displays by USKO Karate and the JKA Karate Association.
Dances will be performed by the Bollywood Dance Troupe and other groups throughout the day, organizers said.
Vendors forming a makeshift marketplace outside the Riverside Public Library will sell a variety of foods, trinkets, artwork and other goods.
City officials are expected to be on hand for the event, which wraps up around 6:30 p.m. with a fireworks extravaganza.
The Lunar New Year, also known as the Chinese New Year, begins Feb. 10.
The Asian Pacific Cultural Association, which promotes Far East and Pacific Rim cultures and their contributions to the region, is the festival’s chief sponsor.
City officials said Lemon Street and Mission Inn Avenue will be shut down in the area immediately surrounding the staging grounds.