Gung Hay Fat Choy!

Revelers couldn't wait to ring in the Year of the Snake at the East Village Sales and Experience Centre. EV made the Lunar New Year a little more prosperous for some lucky winners.

“People were lined up at the door before we opened,” laughed one of EV's friendly Ambassadors. With a chance to win the Red Packet contest for a $500 Visa gift card and lucky bamboo plants for the first 100 visitors, you can't blame folks for showing up early.

Red and gold lanterns, smiling dragons and big red bowls full of fortune cookies transformed the Sales and Experience Centre. With the gentle plucking of the traditional Chinese long zither – the zheng – playing in the background, visitors inspected the centre's intricate scale model, curious to see new developments for themselves. Many admired the graceful arches of the St. Patrick’s Island bridge – which will be finished in 2013 – or marvelled at the grandeur of the National Music Centre, which will break ground later this month. One soon-to-be resident, excited by FIRST’s recent groundbreaking, dropped by just to say how eager he was to move in. “I own one of these units,” he proudly pointed out to his friends.

In the parking lot, Calgary’s newest food truck, Subs N’ Bubbles tempted the hungry with grilled dumplings, Vietnamese Subs, and scrumptious bubble tea. Owner Angela Wong, who greeted visitors with cheery cries of “Happy New Year,” was thrilled to have such an auspicious start to her food truck career. “This is our very first public event,” she announced. “We're so excited to be here at East Village!”

We were excited to welcome the Year of the Snake with so many friends and future villagers.