Burnaby has a wide variety of Chinese New Year's events this year and the best news for locals is the events span two separate weekends.
The festivities get going on Friday, Feb. 8 when the Kensington recreation complex at 6159 Curtis St. host a Chinese New Year skate from 6:30 to 9:15 p.m.
2013 is the Year of the Snake and people can start the year off in an active way by ice skating. Kids can enjoy face painting, crafts and games at this special event. Regular admission and rental rates apply.
The next day, two local shopping centres will have their Chinese New Year's celebrations with a wide variety of family-friendly events.
Lougheed Town Centre will have a lion dance performance in its centre court and around the mall to welcome the Year of the Snake, starting at 11 a.m.
Further on down Lougheed Highway, Brentwood Town Centre will have Year of the Snake celebrations running from 1 to 4 p.m.
The scheduled events include: mini Chinese arts and crafts, featuring a Chinese grasshopper maker, Chinese dough art maker and Chinese balloon twister, from 1 to 4 p.m. in the area next to the toddler's play area; lucky lion and Chinese dragon dance from 1:30 to 3 p.m. in the centre court; blessing of the merchants from 3 to 4 p.m.
The next day, Sunday, Feb. 10, Burnaby's largest Chinese-Asian Mall will host its Chinese New Year's celebrations.
Crystal Mall, located at Kingsway and Willingdon Avenue, will have events running from noon to 4 p.m.
Scheduled events include: a lion dance performance; free Chinese calligraphy greetings; God of Fortune greetings; a lucky draw; and carnival games.
If this action-packed weekend of events isn't enough, the following weekend features the Heights Merchants Association's annual Chinese New Year's celebrations.
On Saturday, Feb. 16, from noon to 2:30 p.m., the association will be ringing in the Year of the Snake on the Heights. Hastings Street will come alive with music and dance, as traditional lion dancers will perform a special blessing to bring luck and prosperity to Heights merchants.
Lucky Heights shoppers who spot the lion dancers will receive a fortune cookie or a red envelope, which contain special messages and a chance to win some fun prizes.