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Jacksonville marks Chinese new year

The Chinese new year started at the end of January, but its main event in Southern Oregon takes place today in Jacksonville.

The town hosts a 5-kilometer run, a parade and activities for kids and adults throughout the day.

A run for all ages will begin the day at 8 a.m. Styled the "Buffalo Roaming 5-K Fun Run," (it's the Year of the Ox, and the Chinese ox is known elsewhere in Asia as the water buffalo) the event carries an entry fee of $10, or $18 with a long-sleeved T-shirt.

At 10:30 a.m., the old-fashioned Lion Dance and Dragon Parade will go off and wend its way through downtown Jacksonville.

Beginning at 11:30 a.m., activities around town will include such Chinese staples as a tea house, calligraphy, acupuncture, feng shui and martial arts demonstrations.

Activities for the younger set will include games, crafts and a "Confucius Classroom" exhibit with St. Mary's School of Medford, which offers classes in Chinese, at the U.S. Hotel in downtown Jacksonville.

Exhibits and lectures planned include emigration stories of the Chinese, gold mining around Jacksonville and the history of the Chinese in Oregon. At 11:30 and 12:30 p.m. at the McCully House, a Chinese cooking show is planned. Admission is $5.

The main program of the day is slated to begin at 2 p.m. at the Bigham Knoll Campus, the site of the old Cascade Christian School at Fifth and E streets, with a historic costume pageant and a Shaolin kung fu demonstration. Tickets are $5.

Jacksonville was a center of Chinese culture in frontier days.

Complete events list: socca.us.