By Angela Chen
Asia on Argyle welcomed Chicago to the 40th-plus anniversary Lunar New Year Parade this February. Lion dancers filled Sun Wah BBQ, music blasted through the speakers past the Argyle Street station, and people lined up outside local businesses to order bubble tea and Asian pastries. While the city’s larger Chinatown along Cermak Road on the Near South Side continues to flourish and also celebrates the Lunar New Year with a popular parade, cultural traditions from across China and Southeast Asia make Uptown a popular North Side stop for this and other festivities.
“We love that the Lunar New Year brings people out and maybe gets (them) introduced to these businesses for the first time,” said Greg Carroll, director of events for the Uptown United Chamber of Commerce. “In the late ’70s early ’80s, a group of Chinese businesses opened on Argyle Street, and then in the ’90s, Vietnamese, Laotian and Cambodian (immigrants) came. And now it’s become a celebration of many Asian cultures here.”