Mailai Xiong, 17, danced with other members of the Minnesota SunShine dance group Friday during a competition on the opening day of the Minnesota Hmong New Year celebration at St. Paul RiverCentre.

The event, which celebrates the past year’s accomplishments and sets the stage for the coming year, includes singers and dancers, a beauty contest, vendors and ethnic foods.

The event continues Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. Tickets are $7 at the door, with children under 4 and seniors over 65 admitted free (ID required).