‘We’re not gonna let it stop us’: Thousands honor lives lost, Lunar New Year in Alhambra


A lion dance troupe prepares to perform at the Alhambra Lunar New Year celebration, Jan. 29, 2023. Photo by Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY via Reuters Connect.

Just one week after a gunman killed 11 people and injured nine others in Monterey Park, thousands in Alhambra gathered to celebrate Lunar New Year and honor those who lost their lives. 

Resident Sarah Huyoung attended the Lunar New Year parade on Main Street, where dancers, drummers, and others performed.

“Resilience is the name of the game, right? We're all here, everyone is smiling. Everyone showed up. These performers are here to share what they have. And it's just amazing to see everyone collected together, despite the rain, despite the current events, just to appreciate all of us together. It's especially heartening and encouraging,” Huyoung tells KCRW.

Others felt fearful at the festivities, concerned another shooting could take place. 

That includes Tam Troung: “I actually wanted to leave. … I was scared. I don't know when someone [is] gonna pull out a gun and then shoot people. It’s scary.”

Huyoung echoes that concern, but recognizes she can’t let that fear dictate her life, especially after the last three years of anti-Asian hate. 

“We've been thinking about it all week. All year actually. … It's especially important to always have this on the forefront of our mind.”

She continues, “When the shooting happened last week, we had already had plans to attend this festival in Alhambra and were a little concerned. But honestly, we’re not gonna let it stop us because that's when they control us, and I don't want fear to control us. We want our appreciation of culture and family.”