“The Ancient Lunar New Year Meets the Modern MGM Resorts”-Article & Photos by Sandy Zimmerman

I attended/reviewed/filmed the MGM Resorts International Lunar New Year 2022 celebration with the historic dragon and lion dances at the Aria Hotel. There were three grand celebrations opening at the Aria, Friday, then the Bellagio, Saturday, and the MGM Grand on Sunday.

When I arrived at the main porte cochere (front entrance) there were around 40 young participants gathering around the red-carpet stage. The long-tailed dragon along with other costumes, multiple sets of drums, and large over-the-head, life-size masks were all waiting to be prepared for the event.

The dragon represents good luck, strength, and health in the Chinese zodiac while the lion prosperity, good luck and peace.Everything suddenly started for us to see the big cast. Some of the young entertainers sat on high pillars above the group, others on the red carpet and some standing performing kung fu kicks said to frighten away evil spirits.

When they lighted the dragon the excitement began. Three females on fushu daiko drums and three female cymbal players added their traditional music.
The life-sized masks were now part of life-size costumes. Some costumes had a front and back, for two people.

It was beautiful to see the dancers move the long dragon about in different ways during the event! Then the entire cast danced while the musicians played their drums in the Aria Hotel around all of the guests.

Everyone was thrilled by a close-up look at the dancers, drummers, costumes- a very special experience. They all continued through the hotel and to the ballroom to finish with the lion dance!

Thanks to the MGM Resorts for this opportunity to see the Lunar New Year celebration, a touch of the ancient world brought to their public event.

I visited China five times to produce travel specials and write articles. One of my trips to central China, I took the Yangtze River Cruise which stopped at an island for their passengers to experience the dragon dance festival.

See the Aria Hotel, Bellagio Hotel, and MGM Grand Hotels for information about other

For 25 years, Sandy Zimmerman appeared on television, along with interviewing celebrities on the Academy Awards and other red carpets, at show openings, as well as producing travel specials around the world and documentaries for Bryce Canyon National Park, Zion Canyon, Grand Canyon North Rim, and a real Cattle Drive similar to the early westerns in Reno, Nevada.

SANDY ZIMMERMAN: Sandy was Director of Public Relations/ Director of Promotions/ and Director of Marketing for Las Vegas shows-“Flashdance Fever” (Marina Hotel), “Cotton Club on Parade” (Aladdin Hotel, now Planet Hollywood Hotel), Sherman Hemsley- star of the “Jeffersons”, Gallagher-comedian (Dunes Hotel), “Men of Paradise” (Vegas World Hotel, now The Strat), Rita Rudner- “Women of Comedy”, “Beatles”, Tribute To The Beatles”, Sherman Helmsley, Gallagher, “Ladies of Comedy” and more.

Sandy wrote and produced the “John & Marsha” All American Burger Chain TV commercial winner of the “Award of Excellence” by the Las Vegas Advertising Federation as well as her “Truffles, Wine and Castles Tour of Northern Italy” and “Discover China” travel specials were named “Travel Shows of the Week” by the Las Vegas Review Journal. After five trips to China and years of research, Sandy wrote the book “China, The Sleeping Dragon: A Travel Guide to China”. Her trip to Australia inspired the historical novel “Ned Kelly, The Wild Young Man in
Australia’s Past;


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