Scene from last year's Chinese New Year celebration.
The Mall of America will host a two-day celebration of the Chinese New Year this weekend, as part of a community and business strategy that has now grown to include 400 events each year.
Last year, the Bloomington mall, the nation’s largest, said it worked with more than 50 nonprofits to help raise more than $12 million in addition to hosting events aimed at raising awareness about social and cultural issues.
“We try to use our event spaces for things that are different and encompassing and reach a large audience,” said Brett Burger, a Mall of America spokesperson.
This is the fourth year the mall has hosted the Chinese celebration, and the third using community partners Alliance of Minnesota Chinese Organizations, Hua Xing Arts Group of Minnesota and Overseas Chinese Service Center of Minnesota.
Events for the "Year of the Pig," which is tied to the lunar calendar, run from noon to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
The mall also has hosted traditional Native American dancers and Irish dancing troups. On Earth Day, it brings in school children to release thousands of lady bugs into the theme park, and creates a fundraiser for Second Harvest Hartland in which architects build structures out of cans of food.
Its largest event, a walk to raise money for juvenile diabetes, has raised more than $1.6 million this year.