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New Year Parade Coming to Hollywood with Olympic Focus
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Bringing the belief in harmony demonstrated in Chinese New Year culture, over 500 Beijing performers will dance in Hollywood on Saturday in a giant goodwill parade, organizers said on Wednesday.



The parade, which starts at the historic Grauman's Chinese Theater and will proceed down Hollywood Boulevard for about two hours, will culminate in giant dragon balloons with the symbolic five colors of the Olympic rings and a Peace Dove balloon.


The cultural extravaganza, jointly sponsored by Beijing and Los Angeles municipal governments, will be a colorful display of floats, dancers and traditional Chinese events, officials told a press conference.


Its Grand Balloon Show Finale will include five dragons weaved by thousands of balloons and more than 40 handlers, reflecting the Olympic spirit between Beijing, the Olympic host city in 2008, and Los Angeles, which has hosted two separate Olympic Games.


Besides the 500 performers aged from seven to 70 from Beijing, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and some 200 schoolchildren from five local primary schools will also participate in the parade, an official of the mayor's office said.


Los Angeles is the only US city where the parade will take place, after the performers from Beijing staged similar annual parades in Paris, London and Sydney over the past three years, according to Li Jicheng, the parade's coordinator from Beijing.


The Hollywood Boulevard parade "is being presented to Los Angeles to announce 'Beijing Welcomes You' and to encourage visitors to attend the 2008 Olympics," said Yu Debin, deputy director of the Beijing Tourism Administration.


He added that the event would also give performers from China the opportunity to share their traditional folk culture with the American public.


(Xinhua News Agency March 1, 2007)

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