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Cranberry Township Sister Cities Association set for Year of Snake

| Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2013, 9:03 p.m.

It's now the Year of the Snake and the Cranberry Township Sister Cities Association is hosting a Chinese New Year celebration on Feb. 9, from 1 to 3 p.m., at the Regional Alliance Center in Cranberry Woods, featuring cultural-related activities, entertainment and food.

This also marks the Chinese year 4711, and CTSC is inviting the community to learn about the country's culture and of its sister city of Haiyang, China, located in the Shandong Province, according to Jack Cohen of Cranberry, president of the program.

While the program is only in its third year, this is also the second time the CTSC is holding this event, which also acts as its yearly fundraiser, said Cohen, who is also executive director for the Butler County Tourism and Convention Bureau.

“It's not so much a fundraiser as it is going to be fun.”

Tickets cost $5 for ages 13 and older, and $3 for ages 12 and younger.

Those attending can enjoy a Chinese-themed story time, a video tour of China, and a traditional Chinese dance performance by Darlene Zhou, according Chelsea Puff, community projects administrator for Cranberry Township. Along with Chinese arts and crafts and food samples, they will also have local volunteers who will teach words in Chinese, said Puff.

The Regional Alliance Center is donating the space and other contributors include an Asian studies group from Slippery Rock University and the HeartPrints Center for Early Education in Cranberry.

Grace Byrnes, co-director and teacher for the HeartPrints Center for Education, said they made sure the event will be enjoyable for both children and adults alike as last year was more geared toward children.

Cohen said it gives local Chinese a chance to celebrate their culture.

“There are lots of people in our community that are from China and we want them to feel welcome,” he said.

Puff said that everyone will receive a gift bag of various items popular with the culture and Chinese New Year. Patrons can also purchase $1 raffle tickets for gift basket giveaways, which will occur at the event, she said.

Puff requested those attending to RSVP at SisterCities@cranberrytwp.org or by calling 724-776-4806, Ext. 1020. Cash and check payment will also be received at the door.

Natalie Beneviat is a freelance writer for Trib Total Media.

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