The History of CAFAM’s Chinese New Year Celebration
Soon after CAFAM was established in August 8, 1988, the organization held a small banquet for Chinese New Year (CNY), the first major event organized by CAFAM to ring in the lunar new year.
It wasn’t until 1991, when South Portland Public Library approached CAFAM to organize a fair that the first true CNY fair was born. The venues have changed over the years, moving from the library to the YWCA on Spring Street, and more recently, in 2001, to Catherine McAuley High School on Stevens Avenue.
CAFAM is excited to move in 2012 to its newest and biggest venue to date, Westbrook Middle School and Performing Arts Center.
From its inception, the New Year Fair (or New Year Celebration as we now call it) features a variety of food and activities for both children and adults. From the start, CAFAM always provides craft activities for younger children, always based on the theme of that year’s zodiac animal.
Dance performances began roughly in 2001, with the debut of a ribbon dance from CAFAM Chinese School students.
Presentations and other programs for adults and have varied in topic year after year to appeal to enthusiasts of history, culture, fine and performing arts, science, medicine, and economics. Topics have ranged from Chinese history in Maine, Qi Gong philosophy, acupuncture and other Chinese healing arts, business in China, calligraphy, and more.