On February 24th, the Taiwanese Association of America Greater Orlando (TAAGO) hosted a gathering to celebrate the Lantern Festival for the Year of the Dragon, inviting Taiwanese community and their family and friends to join in the festivities. Over 160 attendees, including local Taiwanese organizations leaders and representatives from different age groups, gathered at the Amerasia Bank Event Center in Orlando to make tangyuan (glutinous rice balls) and celebrate the Lantern Festival. Notable guests included Director General Charles Chou of Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Miami, accompanied by Overseas Community Affairs Council Secretary Steve Huang, Immigration Secretary Martin Yang, and Executive Director of AsiaTrend.org, Gary CK Lau.

Taiwanese Association of America Greater Orlando Celebrates Lantern Festival with Tangyuan Making
From left, newly elected President Ya-Lan Chien, Director General Charles Chou, current President Albert Hwang.

Before the event commenced, former President Leslie Hsiao introduced current President Albert Hwang and President Elected Ya-Lan Chien. President Hwang, who has served for four years, highlighted the association’s establishment in 1988 and its recent efforts to rejuvenate and diversify its membership by inviting Ya-Lan Chien to join the team. Director General Chou expressed joy at seeing friends from different age groups, emphasizing the sense of homecoming and community spirit fostered by such gatherings.

Taiwanese Association of America Greater Orlando Celebrates Lantern Festival with Tangyuan Making
Guests joyfully chatted as they made tangyuan.

Attendees enjoyed activities including tangyuan making, performances of Taiwanese aboriginal dances, and games. A variety of Taiwanese delicacies, including tangyuan and rice cake cooked on-site by Julia Kao, as well as dishes from Taiwanese restaurants Tammy’s Teriyaki House and OEC Taiwanese Cuisine, were served. A raffle with prizes such as souvenirs, gift cards, cash red envelopes, 50/50 raffles, and Tiffany crystal glasses added to the festive atmosphere.

Many guests praised the event’s creativity, attention to detail, and opportunities for socializing and making new friends. As a result, several attendees immediately joined the association and expressed excitement for future events. The Lantern Festival celebration concluded on a high note with wishes for a prosperous Year of the Dragon.