Bay Ridge

Sen. Golden hosts first Asian Lion and Dragon Dance Festival

September 11, 2017 By John Alexander Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Event host state Sen. Marty Golden with his Deputy Chief of Staff John Quaglione and Assemblymember Felix Ortiz (center, left to right) surrounded by staff members of the Lion and Dragon Dance Festival. Eagle photos by Arthur De Gaeta
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State Sen. Marty Golden has initiated what he hopes will become a new tradition in Dyker Heights — the first Asian Lion and Dragon Dance Festival at Leif Ericson Park at 66th Street and Fort Hamilton Parkway. On Sunday, Golden hosted the event with New York Lotus Light, a Brooklyn not-for-profit corporation.

The beautiful, cool afternoon was filled with lively and colorfully dressed entertainers parading along and carrying a wide array of Asian flags as they performed the traditional lion dance for a receptive audience of elected officials, community leaders and families anxiously awaiting the appearance of the dragon.

It took nine people to carry the dragon through the park as the crowd shouted and cheered it along. A group of young women marched along with the dragon in brightly colored gowns, carrying flowers and holding parasols.

Golden was given a regal red Asian shirt which he proudly wore as he presented honorees with certificates of excellence. Honorees included the lion and dragon dance teams, the martial arts teams as well as the New York Lotus Light team and other festival participants and sponsors.

“Dragons and lions have thousands of years of legends,” said Golden. “At present time, the lion and dragon dance is considered a leisure activity, a cultural activity, a sports competition and a symbol of fortune and luck.”

Golden called himself a friend to the Chinese community and said he was thrilled to host the annual lion and dragon dance. He promised that there would be dozens of lion and dragon teams coming to Brooklyn for the sole purpose of promoting lion dance as a sport. He said it would help train young people because the lion dance “strengthens our health, increases our confidence and cultivates our team spirit.”

Golden referred to the lion dance as a joyful tradition and encouraged everyone in the community to participate and help support it. He thanked John Quaglione, his deputy chief of staff, for helping him put the event together, as well as Assemblymember Felix Ortiz, who is running for the District 38 (Sunset Park-Red Hook) City Council seat.

Quaglione, who is currently running for the District 43 (Bay Ridge-Dyker Heights-Bensonhurst) City Council seat, thanked Golden and Ortiz, and said that he hoped to continue working with Golden to host more events in the community that celebrate Asian culture.


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