It’s never too late to celebrate
Sitting on the stage in an embroidered dress prior to the show

Since 27 years, the University of Alaska Fairbanks’ Chinese Student Association invites the Fairbanks community to celebrate Chinese New Year with them. So they did this Saturday. This year, the festivities were a little late. The year of the Roaster is already in full swing since more than two weeks. The ballroom in the Wood Center is a favorite location for community events. No wonder that it is hard to get a reservation for the Saturday you want, especially, when events like Valentine’s Day mean a competition for the same resource by other student groups like the Latin Dance Club or various music orchestras and bands.

The food

The event started with a delicious Chinese buffet prepared by AK Buffet Restaurant, a local restaurant in East Fairbanks in a mall on Third Street. There was Asian style cooked fish, various dishes with beef, pork or chicken, chicken kebab, vegetables delight, a variety of filled dumplings, flour dumplings, white rice, fried rice and fried noodles. There was American style strawberry and chocolate cream cake as a dessert.

fashion blogger over 40 traditional Chinese clothes
My friend Rosalind Khan wearing a raw silk Chinese style jacket over a white Tee and me. Rosalind coached the dancers and helped with the organization of this traditional Fairbanks community event. She also moderated the clothing pageant

In former years, there was the original New Year’s rice cake with raisins as dessert. To be honest, I prefer the rice cake over the cream cake, but I guess they tried something different as there were always large leftovers of rice cake. Looking at this event’s leftover desserts reveals that people were just full from the delicious dishes and hence skipped dessert.

I decided to forego taking a picture of my plate. Because of the long queue, the servers had put the various dishes onto the plate aiming at being fast. In other words, the arrangement of the food on the plate was not Instagram worthy. 😉 However, it smelled and tasted delicious. 🙂

The special guests

An employee from the Chinese embassy in San Francisco, the Chancellor and his wife, and the Chinese and American Kung Fu champion were among the special guests. I am not good at estimating how many people were there. According to the numbers on the tickets, there must have been over 400 people assuming the ticket numbers started with 1 and no number was left out.

Chinese New Year's guests in Fairbanks
View on the guests during dinner, the stage and decoration in the Wood Center

Since there was no dress code on the tickets or event fliers, Fairbanksans did showed up in what ever they wanted. At the long tables with red table clothes, you could see the dressed-up woman in a cocktail dress sitting side-by-side with someone who was dressed as if they had mushed with their dog team to the event. Many women and little kids wore traditional outfits. Only few men did so.

The program

The program started out with the buffet dinner. Afterwards the kids performed two dances, and wished the adults a Happy New Year. In return, they got little red envelops with money and a fruit.

Alaska students performing in self-made costumes
Students and Fairbanks women performing a Jasmine Dance

Next was a Jasmine Flower dance performed by the students of Chinese 102 and 202 in self-made costumes. They had cut the long sleeves of  white Tees to 3/4 and sewed lace on the sleeves and bottom of the Tees as finish. The greenery maxi skirts had a flare cut. The hand pieces were self-made paper flowers.

kung fu demonstration in Alaska
Chinese and American champion in kung fu posing after his demonstration

The beautiful dance was followed by an extra-ordinary kung fu demonstration by the Chinese and American kung fu champion. His movements were so fast that the camera couldn’t catch them except at the end when he took the applause.

over 40 years old woman in red and black sheath dress
Fairbanks woman singing a Chinese opera song in a back and red sheath dress and black patent leather pumps

The woman in her beautiful red and black sheath dress sang a Chinese opera song as well as a temporary Chinese hit. She also performed in some of the dances. There was also a man’s vocal solo and a choir singing a gospel.

fashion at any age Fairbanksans modeling authentic outfits
Group photo of all models in Chinese ethnic clothing

The clothing pageant presented various traditional Chinese clothes. Here are some close-ups of my favorite outfits.

ageless style white dress with print White dress with a beauty printed on
fashion blogger over 50 donning an embroidered LBD LBD with rose embroidery, multiple strands of pearls, van, and L.K. Bennett open toe pumps

traditional style ethnic outfit Fairbanks high school student modeling a pink silk suit

Alaska woman in floral print top and leggings Floral print top with black leggings and tall bootsethnic fashion embroidered pleated skirt and top Traditional look of one of the many minorities with pleated decorated and embroidered skirt and top

advanced fashion woman in jacquard jacket with butterfly pattern Purple jacquard jacket with butterfly motives

The UAF students of Chinese 102 and 202 performed Little Apple – a hip hop from China. Between the various performances there was drawing of door prizes. We won a roaster window panel.

Which is your favorite in this fashion show? Do you like Chinese food?

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Photo of me: G. Kramm
Other photos: N. Mölders

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