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SQUIRREL HILL (KDKA) — Squirrel Hill’s Lunar New Year celebration culminated Sunday with the fourth annual Lunar New Year Parade.
The community celebrated the beginning of the Year of the Pig over the course of two weeks, ending with the parade on Murray Avenue.
When the parade first started in 2016, it took place over about two blocks. This year, more than 200 dancers and drummers participated in the event, along with fire breathers, police officers on horseback, and marchers from local organizations and schools.
Martha Isler, vice president of Uncover Squirrel Hill, says the growing parade is a sign of a diverse, inclusive neighborhood.
“Squirrel Hill is an inclusive community. We celebrate our diversity and we enjoy having events like this so that all of our community can participate and learn from each other,” Isler said.
“I think this is the biggest turnout we’ve had. I think, you know, everybody comes out as a community, which makes Squirrel Hill such a special place, and it’s so diverse. As you can see, we celebrate all holidays in Squirrel Hill, and it makes it really special for all the residents to come out and support this event,” Councilman Corey O’Connor said.
This was also the first Lunar New Year parade since the fatal shooting at Squirrel Hill’s Tree of Life Synagogue.
As the parade marched down Murray Avenue, they passed businesses with “No Place For Hate” signs in their windows
“I think that ‘Stronger Than Hate’ message is something that we think about more, almost every day,” Isler said.
Parade-goer Bernice recently moved to Pittsburgh from New York City with her family and said the city’s diversity reminded them of New York. She said she brought her two young children to the parade to expose them to the area’s diversity.
“I think it’s important to teach kids that no matter how different we are, we’re all human, and there’s so many things that bring people together because of their differences. Especially with [the Tree of Life shooting], there’s more of a reason this year for us to focus on appreciating our differences and celebrating it,” Bernice said.