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The Fire Monkeys of Jacksonville, Oregon

The Fire Monkeys of Jacksonville, Oregon

A Chinese New Year Parade in Jacksonville, Oregon?


Chinese New Year Parade Jacksonville
Chinese New Year Parade Jacksonville

You betcha.

All that and adventurous chickens, too, in this small town.

Home to the first Chinatown in Oregon, Jacksonville has a rich history complete with a gold rush and Chinese immigrants. Coming from the Canton Province in the 1850’s, Chinese emigrants arrived in San Francisco in search of Gold Mountain and a better life. Imagine the stories told in China of the magical Gold Mountain and oh how that mountain glistened with riches from the earth. Free for anyone to take. It must have seemed like an unreal dream. Soon enough that was the true discovery – there is no such thing as a free ticket on the ship to gold mountain. Historian Larry Smith shares his riveting stories of this history. I highly recommend you check out his talks.

As the gold strikes moved north from San Francisco with them came the new migrants. Did they receive a better life in Jacksonville, Oregon? Some did, some did not. One thing seems certain, the Chinese left behind a legacy that to this day is a lasting treasure to the town – an intriguing culture to celebrate.

Chinese New Year Parade Jacksonville, Oregon Chinese New Year Parade Jacksonville, Oregon

And this is the reason Jacksonville, Oregon has a Chinese New Year Parade presented by SOCCA (Southern Oregon Chinese Cultural Association). Learn more about the fascinating history and culture from this article written by Jeanena Whitewilson.

Chinese New Year was on February 8, and 2016 is the year of the Fire Monkey according to the Chinese Zodiac. Are you a Fire Monkey? Each year is associated with one of twelve animal signs and one of the five elements. If you want to learn more about your sassy, ambitious, fire monkey self or discover your particular sign, click here. Therapy is also a good option to learning more about yourself, but then again, you don’t get to call yourself a fire monkey in therapy without a DSM IV diagnosis.

Two short Chinese New Year videos for your viewing enjoyment

Vid #1 – 1 minute 30 seconds montage of the photos I took during the parade

Vid #2 – 1 minute 40 seconds video montage highlighting singer Jennifer Matsuura of the Ha’ena Hawaiian Singing Group, the Brava Opera Theatre, and the Southern Oregon Repertory Singers, the Siskiyou Saxophone Orchestra, SOCCA’s Lion Dance Clinic Asian Cultural Dance Troupe, and what I think to be St. Mary’s Lion Dancers, but alas, I am uncertain about that last part. I welcome clarification.

This parade goer intended to film the Southern Oregon Scottish Bagpipe Band, but was unsuccessful in this endeavor. It’s not because I dislike bagpipes. On the contrary, I’m quite fond of them. And I find that bagpipe bands really add a certain je ne sais quoi to a Chinese New Year parade. No, the reason I didn’t film was because my flipvideo flipped out right about the time the bagpipes started piping.

The festivities did not end with the parade. The fun continued on throughout the day with cooking demonstrations, food, history talks, and a magic show and cheeky fire monkeys.

Chinese New Year Parade Jacksonville, Oregon

What’s your Chinese Zodiac sign?
Does the description relate to your personality traits? I’m a Fire Horse. Are there any other Fire Horses out there in the vast interweb reading this?


Never give a sword to a man who can’t dance.

To practice five things under all circumstances constitutes perfect virtue; these five are gravity, generosity of soul, sincerity, earnestness, and kindness.

The more man meditates upon good thoughts, the better will be his world and the world at large. ~Confucius


Thanks for reading,
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            1. Kenda

              And we will give all the little children water balloons for every single holiday including Groundhog Day and the holidays of Puerto Rico that no one knows about.

              With that endeavor we shall combat two issues with one gift – too much water on earth and not enough balloons in the oceans for turtles to suffocate on. Yes. Yes. When pigs fly.

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