3 … 2 … 1 … Happy New Year of the Dog | NevadaAppeal.com

3 … 2 … 1 … Happy New Year of the Dog

Jarid Shipley
Appeal Staff Writer
BRAD HORN/Nevada Appeal Miles Pishotti, 6 months, is greeted by Yunfeng Zhang playing the head of the dragon as part of the Chinese New Year celebration Saturday at the Children's Museum of Northern Nevada. Miles' father, Anthony, is pictured at right.

Even with traditional Chinese music blaring and a dancing dragon cavorting around her, 2-year-old Alison Matus remained focused. She wanted that little candy heart and she was going to pick it up with the chopsticks.

Saturday marked the last day of the year on the Chinese calendar and the Northern Nevada Children’s Museum decided to celebrate. They invited students from the University of Nevada, Reno to help.

“We are doing Chinese calligraphy and making dragon and dog puppets. Plus we have information on Chinese culture,” said Penny Holbrook, a member of the board of directors. The incoming year is the Year of the Dog.

At one of the craft tables, 6-year-old Nick Rosen was putting the finishing touches on his dragon puppet.

“He’s big with fire and he has wings,” Nick said. “I just want to see what else will fit on him.”

Nick’s mom, Laura, thought coming to the museum was a worthwhile experience.

“We came because I thought it would be neat for them to learn about the Chinese celebration of New Year,” Rosen said.

Yunfeng Zhang, who is pursuing a master’s degree in chemistry at UNR, said he is happy to help expose others to his culture.

“We try to spread the culture while we are here and show our heritage to others,” Zhang said. “I think when you try to share the culture, you need to begin with children.”

Participants were treated to performances by Carolyn Oliver, with the Children’s Museum Dance Project, a Tae Kwan Do exhibition and a shadow puppet story by Cory King.

The event continues today with Chinese noodles from the Beijing Palace Restaurant and more than 200 almond cookies from retired baker Earnst Goerig.

The Chinese New Year celebration may also inspire other multicultural additions to the museum’s schedule.

“This is our third one and it just seems to get better and better every year. We are going to do more events like this in 2006,” Holbrook said.

While the gleeful shrieks and tempered music continued around her, Matus continued to concentrate on her candy heart.

After several minutes, she gave up and decided maybe calligraphy was more her style.

— Contact reporter Jarid Shipley at jshipley@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1217.