This year, the Lunar New Year celebration began on February 1st, and it ushered in The Year of The Tiger. As the Asian American population continues to grow in Houston and the surrounding areas, these festivities are becoming more important.

One group of like-minded, young creatives and entrepreneurs knows this and banded together to create a space for all Houstonians to support and celebrate the Asian American & Pacific Islander communities. The February 5 celebration in The Heights also included small businesses.

The Have A Nice Day collective which put on the event was co-founded by Michael Ma, Isabel Protomartir, Brian Rama, and Julie Julez (née Julie Nong) in May 2021. The organization has advocated for APPI causes, vendors, and creatives through several events and markets. This Lunar New Year celebration at The Heights House Hotel has been their most ambitious to date.

The event brought out food vendors that included AtCha, Pudgy's Fine Cookies, Dumpling Haus, and Burger Bodega. Attendees were provided complimentary sparkling water and cocktails courtesy of Topo Chico and Crown Royal.

The Have A Nice Day team also handed out 100 lucky red envelopes, a Lunar New Year tradition. Some of the envelopes were filled with cash, others with gift cards to Phat Eatery, Roostar Vietnamese Grill, Tea Top, and more.

The Nu Vuong Hoa Binh Lion Dance Team closed out the evening's celebration that included traditional music, dance, and even a fire-breathing dragon. It was a tradition that Houston has been known to celebrate to the fullest, and will continue to, as long as groups like the Have A Nice Day collective continue to keep traditions alive for a new generation.

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