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Chicago police, organizers ramp up planned security for Lunar New Year parade

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After two recent mass shootings in California, Chicago police and local Lunar New Year celebration organizers are taking extra precautions.

Chicago police plan to step up security for the Lunar New Year parade in Uptown on Saturday and in Chinatown on Sunday.

Gene Lee, founder of Chicago Chinatown Special Events, which hosts the annual Chinese New Year parade in Chinatown, said: This weekend marks his 111th year of parade.

Lee and other organizers met with CPD officials, and plainclothes officers were expected to participate in the parade, Lee said.

Organizers will use the parade’s public address system to alert guests to watch out for suspicious activity, Lee said.

CPD declined to provide further details, but said in a statement earlier this week that it would be reaching out to members of the community as it implemented the planned security enhancements.

Vigilance was heightened after a gunman killed 10 people at a ballroom dancing club Saturday night during the Lunar New Year celebrations in Monterey Park, an Asian-American town on the eastern edge of Los Angeles.

In another shooting in Half Moon Bay, Calif., on Monday, gunmen killed seven people and seriously injured one. Officials said some of the victims were Asian.

The Chinatown parade begins at 1pm on Sunday on Wentworth Avenue and heads north from 24th Street to Sermack Road. About 20,000 people attended the parade each year before it was paused due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Lee said. He expects the same thing this year.

Uptown, 2,000 to 3,000 people are expected to attend Saturday’s Lunar New Year parade, which begins at 1 p.m. on Argyle Street and Winthrop Avenue.

Greg Carroll, director of partnerships and events for Uptown United, which hosts the annual parade, said: “But I think we are happy that we continue to provide opportunities for people in our community to celebrate.”

Carroll spoke to business and cultural leaders who attended the parade after the recent shooting in California. Parade organizers met on Tuesday to discuss additional concerns.

Uptown United does not employ private security guards, but is working closely with CPD’s 20th District and Ald. Harry Osterman (No. 48) was contacted by the city, Carroll said.

Sober and cautious, the residents are determined to keep the celebrations going.

“Everyone is worried about it, but life goes on, as the majority of people I’ve spoken to feel,” Lee said. I have to eat at a restaurant, I have to go to the parade.”


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Written by Natalia Chi

Chicago Popular; Chicago breaking news, weather and live video. Covering local politics, health, traffic and sports for Chicago, the suburbs and northwest Indiana.

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