Chinese New Year Banquet in Portland, Oregon
The Portland branch celebrated the Chinese New Year with lots of energy and a great spirit of community. As our branch grows so does this event. For weeks, days and especially in the last hours before the event the branch was a beehive of creative activity. The decibel level was high during the social hour as we caught up with friends, upped the bids for baskets and activities at the silent auction table, and tried to pick the $100 bottle from the 108 wines in the wall of wine. We were entertained during the social hour and the banquet by two tai chi practitioners who are also professional musicians. This year we set 200 places for the main banquet and served another 40 at the second seating for those who had worked as cooks, servers, bussers and dishwashers during the event. The cooking team delighted everyone producing a nine item menu ranging from a rich hot and sour soup through spring rolls, several vegetable, noddle and rice dishes, ginger-lime glazed salmon and culminating with housemade almond cookies and orange slices. We were honored to have five community leaders accept the invitation to join in welcoming the Year of the Earth Dog. Our guests included a member of the Oregon State legislature, a Multnomah County commissioner, a Veterans Administration hospital administrator, the director of the Multnomah County Community Health Centers and a member of the Oregon AARP executive board. We enjoyed the opportunity to introduce them to our practice and community and to thank them for their support. The cleanup was completed and the doors locked shortly after 11 pm. The branch opened the next morning with the usual level of participation for 8 am chanting, 9 am continuing class, 11 am beginning class and 12:30 pm Taoist Tai Chi® arts open practice demonstrating the health and vitality we gain from Taoist Tai Chi® practice.