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Chinese New Year parade canceled

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HONOLULU -

As Chinatown gears up for the year of the dog, a popular celebration is suddenly shut down. 

The annual Chinese New Year parade that usually makes its way down north hotel street, won't be happening because of a lack of funding.

"Personally, for myself, it's very sad to hear about. I think everybody, they sad, too because this is only once a year. We wait for this day. For everybody, even in the country, all over, they come and enjoy that night," said Loretta Le, owner of Lin's Lei Shop.

In a letter, Gifford Chang of Chinatown Merchants Association said, "The Night in Chinatown festival and parade has been a legacy event for the community and last year we barely squeaked by in paying our expenses."

Without vendor participation and merchant donations, organizers had to make the final fiscal call and terminate it.

Chang told Island News this year only about half the amount of the festivals vendors had signed up, compared to thirty needed to make the events possible.

He admits that over the last two years vendor fees have increased by $100-$150 dollars to offset increasing expenses, which may have resulted in a lower turn out.

DDJ Hawaii LLC's and Hawaii Asian Art Auction's, Andy Zheng and Hannah Lei says while they're disappointed to hear that annual festival and parade are canceled, they hope with other Chinese New Year festivities happening in Chinatown that will still bring in business. 

Chinatown Merchant's Association says Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell has already reached out to see how they can work together to bring back the event next year.

The Chinese cultural plaza will still celebrate Chinese New Year with its own festivities this Friday and Saturday, 

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