Public invited to Pho Hoa’s Lunar New Year celebration

By LESLIE COLLINS
Northeast News
February 6, 2013

It’s the Year of the Snake, and Northeast’s Pho Hoa Noodle Soup restaurant is ready to celebrate the Lunar New Year in style.

To kick off the New Year, the Vietnamese restaurant, 1447 E. Independence Ave., will offer a variety of free appetizers Sunday, Feb. 10, and dance troupe Phuoc Loc Tho will perform a dragon dance from noon to 1:30 p.m. Last year, more than 500 people attended, said Pho Hoa Owner Spike Nguyen. The restaurant will be open to the public from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and will reopen later in the day for a private fundraiser and party.

Nguyen said he wants to share the Lunar New Year tradition with Kansas City, including the dragon dance, which a number of residents wouldn’t see otherwise.

“There’s not many houses that can bring a dragon team to their house and present a good fortune for them,” he said.

If weather permits, the dance troupe will perform both outside and inside the restaurant.

The snake, one of the signs in the Chinese zodiac, is considered a lucky animal, Nguyen said.

“There’s an old saying in Chinese and Vietnamese that if you have a snake come to your home, it means you’re not starving. The snake represents prosperity and is a very lucky animal,” he said. “The second saying is if you walk on the street and you see a snake, you keep going because it’s your destiny rising ahead. If you see a turtle, you come back home because it might be bad luck for that day.”

For the fundraiser, Pho Hoa has partnered with a Vietnamese charity in Kansas City to raise funds for the charity’s orphanage in Vietnam. The private charity event will include special speakers Jackson County Legislator Scott Burnett and City Council member Scott Wagner. In addition, there will be a silent auction, prizes and the dance troupe will make another appearance.

“We just want everybody to show up, have fun and celebrate the New Year with us,” Nguyen said.

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