A week from Saturday is the first-ever Cranbury Chinese New Year Celebration! Good food, music, and cultural demonstrations have been organized by Chinese Cranbury families in support of the new public library. Tickets are available at the library. The photo shows organizers for the Chinese New Year celebration. From left to right is Mike Ferrante, Sen Yang, Jessie Yin, Kirstie Venanzi, Fei Tian, Marilynn Mullen and Christine Tu.
Christine Tu and her family and friends want a new public library to be built in Cranbury. They had already contributed with personal donations, but realized they could do more as a group than they could individually. So, in late 2014, Christine and 20 other local families conceived the idea of a Chinese New Year Party for the community to help kick-start the final phase of the new public library facility campaign.
“It all started with a casual conversion about getting together and what’s happening in town,” Christine said. “Many new families in town don’t know about the new public library project.” (Since the late 1960s, the Public Library has shared a small space with the Cranbury School Library, an arrangement that worked 40 years ago, but no longer meets the needs of the community or the school.) Christine Tu and her friends Jessie Yin, Shaolin Liu, Fei Tian, Sean Yang and Theresa Zhang formed a planning committee and rallied 20 other local families to arrange the upcoming Chinese New Year Party for the community.
In partnership with the Cranbury Public Library and the Foundation Committee, their vision is coming alive on February 28 at St. David’s Episcopal Church in Cranbury. On that day, the community of Cranbury is invited to enjoy homemade Chinese food, martial arts demonstrations, music performances, tai chi, calligraphy, mahjong, games and prizes, all while supporting a central part of the community.
“We are so excited that the library foundation is partnering with us on this important project,” Christine explained. “There are many Chinese families in Cranbury, and we hope this event shares our cultural heritage with the widest set of our neighbors as possible, and equally important, we’d like to give back to our lovely community.” Michael Ferrante, 2015 president of the Cranbury Public Library Foundation, is pleased at how this event fits into the fundraising campaign. “We are approaching the last third of the campaign to raise the $3.2 million to build this community library that will also have meeting rooms, will serve as a home for Cranbury’s historical archive, and will provide space for programming to serve the citizens and community groups in town. This event is a great way to raise awareness about the project, beyond the 400+ families and organizations who have already contributed.” While a stand-alone public library has been on the master plan for over 20 years, it took a small group of committed individuals to start the program to raise the capital funds for the new building from the members of the Cranbury community.
The Chinese New Year event will take place from noon to 3:00 on February 28.
Tickets for the event can be purchased at the Cranbury Public Library.
Adults are $20 each and children 6 and over are $10. For more information, contact the Cranbury Public Library (609-655-0555).