• Nuggets celebrate Lunar New Year: A look at Denver’s Asian Chamber of Commerce

  • by Alex Labidou

    Nuggets.com Staff Writer

  • Feb. 12 is Lunar New Year, a celebration that marks the first new moon of the lunisolar calendars traditional to many east Asian countries – including China, South Korea, and Vietnam. With the Year of the Ox kicking off Friday, Denver is one of hundreds of cities around the world celebrating the event. Although the COVID-19 pandemic has curtailed a lot of the festivities that usually surround a Lunar New Year, The Asian Chamber of Commerce in Denver hopes to provide socially distant options for those interested in enjoying it.

    The ACC is an organization that provides economic development and business opportunities for its members. Chairman Travis A. Tom and President Fran Campbell spoke to Nuggets.com about the organization and how it has adjusted around COVID-19 as well as how it plans to highlight the Lunar New Year.

    Here are their responses, which were provided through email:

    How will the Lunar New Year be celebrated this year considering the challenges of COVID?

    Campbell: Usually, there would be numerous celebratory events for Lunar New Year. The observance of the Year of the Ox will be celebrated within families’ homes and shared virtually. A few Asian American and Pacific Islander organizations have launched charitable events for Lunar New Year that benefit small businesses, community centers, and refugee populations. For instance, the Asian Chamber of Commerce, Asian Pacific Development Center, Asian Pacific American Bar Association, and Colorado Asian Culture and Education Network are supporting refugee families with a Gift Basket Drive.

    What are the biggest events that the ACC typically holds and has there been any adjustments?

    Campbell: The Asian Chamber of Commerce will be holding our signature events this year – the ACC Annual Golf Tournament and the Annual Gala (dates to be announced). The 2021 Colorado Dragon Boat Festival is postponed to Sept. 25-26. 

    How have you adapted during COVID times to provide resources and/or events virtually?

    Tom: The ACC has shifted to being a virtual resource to clients to adjust to the times. Where we provided information via Lunch’n’Learns and Business After Hour events have now been shifted to Virtual Webinars. We will have guests from different industries speak and give presentations via Zoom conferencing where anyone can join and the presentations are available for viewing through our website. 

    We have also shifted our focus to more outreach via emails and phone calls to communicate updates from our members to our communities. We are constantly updating our website to include as many events and topics as possible to make sure that content is always up to date and reliable.

    How can people get involved locally? 

    Tom: We encourage any current members or prospective members to reach out to us via email or through our website to get connected. We partner with Corporations, government entities, and non-profits and have access to any number of their resources for virtually any request for our community. We can assist vendors with certifications, individuals for volunteer opportunities, financial assistance programs for individuals or small businesses, mental health awareness and assistance, just to name a few programs. 

    Are there any fans of the Nuggets on the ACC board?

    Tom: Well, I can say that I love the approach of the current Nuggets team. I love seeing the growth of the homegrown players and the development from draft night to current status. In an age where super teams are formed through free-agency, it is refreshing to see how Jamal Murray, Nikola Jokić, Michael Porter Jr., Gary Harris, and Monte Morris can be drafted and brought up together to form their special team. 

    There is something original and refreshing to see that kind of creation and you feel more ownership of your fandom that way. More of a personal connection.