Chinese New Year Banquet Instructions and FAQs

The following FAQs provide an overview of the Chinese New Year celebration and preparations.

1. Who should I contact if I have questions about the event or my reservation? We hope that the following FAQs will answer most of your questions. If not, please send us your questions to cnybanquet@fccsocal.org.  We will respond as soon as possible.

2. We are new to FCC and this will be our first banquet. How does FCC-SoCal celebrate? Since 1998, FCC-SoCal families have been gathering in Los Angeles’ Chinatown to celebrate the Chinese New Year. At the event, more than 30-70 tables fill the huge dining room. A family-style, large course, dinner is served to each table. Throughout the evening, a DJ plays music, everyone socializes and dances, and Asian performers (including this year a magician and one-man circus show, along with lion and dragon dancers) entertain the crowd. The evening begins with the dragon dance. We take a few moments to welcome all of our new arrivals. Often Miss Chinatown and her court mingle with the kids. Throughout the evening attendees can also make donations to our FCC SoCal fund-raising campaigns.. We end the evening with the “bubble wrap” stomp (which simulates the sound of firecrackers). It’s festive, noisy and a bit chaotic, but always moving to see a gigantic room full of happy families and hundreds of joyful children and youth! Being in the room provides a wonderful visual for our kids and parents alike – we are part of an amazing community of adoptive families. There’s nothing else quite like an FCC New Year banquet!

3. We’ve already attended several banquets – what basic information do I need to know?

(a) Reservation information and forms are available online at www.fccsocal.org/2018-cny-banquet-reservation-form.
(b) 2018 annual membership renewal is available online at www.fccsocal.org/annual-membership. Note: You can renew your family membership by following the link above, or when making your banquet reservation. Our coordinators will cross-check membership status.
(c) The FCC-SoCal “member rate” applies only to immediate family, i.e., parent(s) and child(ren), who are Annual 2018 Members or Lifetime Members. (Note, all Supporting, 8-year Memberships expired at the end of 2014). All other extended family, friends and guests may reserve at the non-member price.  Not sure of your member status, send an email to membership@fccsocal.org with "What's My Status?" in the subject line. An answer will be returned quickly.

4. I am a waiting parent. May I attend this year or should I wait until after I adopt? We enthusiastically welcome waiting parents, both those who are first-time parents-to-be and those with children. This is also a great time to volunteer at the banquet.

5. I have a new baby/toddler AND/OR my child (of any age) gets overwhelmed by crowds and noise. Should we attend the banquet? You know your children best. We strive to provide an entertaining evening where everyone can celebrate and enjoy themselves; however, the environment may not be suitable for your particular child. You can anticipate a huge, brightly lit banquet room, bustling with constant activity, upbeat music, joyous greetings of new and old acquaintances, clanking dishes and excited laughter from hundreds of children, from start to finish. Some families recognize that this would not be fun for their child and opt to wait a year or so before attending, especially for a new arrival. In addition, the traditional Lion Dance performance includes VERY loud drums and cymbals. The noise and masks might frighten little ones. We warn families before their performance begins so that they may leave the room, if necessary. The firecracker/bubble wrap stomp finale is also quite loud (although most kids of all ages enjoy getting out there and stomping).

RESERVATIONS

6. How do I make a reservation? Online registration and payment is available at
www.fccsocal.org/2018-cny-banquet-reservation-form. Please reserve early to guarantee your attendance. It will assist us greatly if you register promptly and follow all directions.

Use the online form to register for the 2018 FCC-SoCal Chinese New Year Celebration Banquet. If you need basic information about the banquet, please click to open the event posting in a new window.  You will not be able to print the registration form. However, the contents of the form will be emailed to the email address you provide so that you have a record. Please make sure that your email is correct.

There are two steps to registration:

  • Fill out and submit the online form with information about you and your party.
  • Continue on to PayPal to submit your payment. (The "Submit" button will link you through to PayPal.)

PLEASE REMEMBER TO CALCULATE YOUR PAYMENT BEFORE CLICKING "SUBMIT." We can only process your registration if we have both your form submission and your payment.

If you feel you would rather register the traditional way, the online form provides a link to access the PDF version of the form to print and fill out, then mail in with check by way of snail mail. Mailing instructions are on the form. Please remember we are an all volunteer committee.  Online registration and payment will get your reservation in FAST and, it will make our job easier!

Seats are filled first-come, first-served. RESERVE EARLY. We thank you in advance for providing us complete and accurate information!

We are anticipating a sell-out. First, read these instructions and FAQs. Second, complete the attached online form accordingly. Note that EVERYONE attending (even the free kids) must be listed on the reservation form.   Please pay online via the PAYPAL online link provided.

7. How much does it cost to attend? Our goal is to make the event affordable to all members. The prices are as follows:
 

Adult FCC-Socal Members - $45 Adult Non-members - $65
Children (ages 2-18) of members - $25 Children of Non-members - $35
China Care Buddy - $25 Infant/Toddlers of Non-members - FREE
Infant/Toddlers of Members - FREE  

 

 

 

8. How do I qualify for the Member rate? The FCC-SoCal Member prices apply only to Lifetime and 2018 Annual Member families (parents and children). (Note, all Supporting, 8-year Memberships expired at the end of 2014). Non-member prices apply to all other extended family, friends or other guests. Be sure to pay at the correct rate as we check membership status.  Has the annual membership lapsed for you or for any of your guests? Take advantage of member pricing by using this opportunity to renew any lapsed memberships.

9. What is the deadline to get my reservation form in? Seats and tables are assigned on a first-come, first-served basis and we are expecting to sell out before the deadline. Just getting your reservation form in by the deadline date does not guarantee that you will get a seat. RESERVE EARLY! Banquet Deadline: Reservation and payment must be received no later than Monday, February 12, 2018.
 
10. Is there a limit on the number of people I can invite? The event is primarily for FCC member families and we strive to be able to seat every member who wishes to attend. However, we do understand that some of you may want to share the fun with select extended family and friends. While we do not expressly limit the number of guests that each family can bring, we do request that you keep your guest list reasonable (for example, inviting 2 to 4 guests or just enough to fill your own table). Keep in mind that the member price applies only to immediate family members. All other extended family and guests must pay non-member prices.

11. How many people can be seated at a table? The tables seat a maximum of 10. We are willing to make a table of 11 if one person is an infant, not requiring a chair. This is for the safety and comfort of everyone – and tables receive (and we pay for) food for 10, no matter how many people are seated there.  New to 2018, we have a "Teen Table" (seating separately from adults) to accommodate kids 13 years and older.  Bruin Buddies have the option to be seated at the Teen Table too!  Please indicate your seating option in the registration form under "Consideration" box.  Make sure not to include them at your table of 10.

12. I want to sit at the same table with friends or my travel group. How can I do this? To guarantee seating with the folks you want to be with, send in one reservation form with each person’s name listed and full payment for everyone. We can no longer accommodate requests to be seated near someone or with your travel group.  Tables come in groups of 10 only. You must on your own coordinate registration and payment with those families or individuals with which you want to sit.

13. My big kids want to sit with their friends at a “Kids’ Table.” Can we do this? You are welcome to put your own Kids’ Table of ten (10) together. The kids should be ages 7 and older and able to manage on their own. To guarantee seating for the kids you want to be seated together, send in one reservation form with each child’s name listed and full payment for everyone.  We cannot guarantee that the table will be adjacent to the parents’ tables but we will do our best to situate it as nearby as possible.  Note that parents are still responsible for supervising their children, even if they are sitting at a different table.  Children 13 years and older can now sit at the "Teen Table" and Bruin Buddies have the option to be seated at the Teen Table too.
 
14. How do I get seated at a “better” table near the dance floor? Reserve early and don’t make any changes. We also do our best to provide “better” seating for the families of those who have served in leadership positions and/or volunteered in a significant way during the past year. (So volunteer in 2018 for a good seat in 2019!)

15. How will I know if my reservation is in order and where I’m sitting? You will receive a group email confirmation once the registration deadline has past.  A “last name/table list” will be posted outside the restaurant late in the afternoon of the event.

16. What if I want to cancel after I’ve sent in my reservation form and check or certain members of my party aren’t able to attend at the last minute? Sorry, but given the sheer volume of reservations and the complicated seating arrangements, as well as our commitment to the restaurant, we are not in a position to issue refunds.

GETTING READY FOR THE BANQUET

17. What is the “dress code?” Most of the kids wear Chinese outfits – lucky red is the popular celebratory color, but if you want to be able to spot your child from across the room, you might pick another color. The kids like to bop around on the parquet dance floor, so “slick” dress shoes can sometimes be a hazard. Adults wear Asian-inspired clothing or festive business attire.

18. I have a child who is very young; is there anything special that I should bring? Bring your own booster seat if it’s needed.  Ocean Seafood will have high chairs available.  Strollers are not permitted inside the restaurant, however, they will accommodate an area to store your stroller. 

19. Is there anything that we shouldn’t bring or do? It is best not to bring that special doll, toy, blankie, purse or anything else that, if lost, would be a major life disaster.  No smoking is permitted in or near any of the outside areas being used for the event.

20. Where is the Ocean Seafood Restaurant? Where do I park?  Ocean Seafood restaurant is located on the second floor .  Elevator access is available.

 The address is:  750 N. Hill Street, Los Angeles, CA  90012. Check out the Google map (opens in a new window):  

Website: https://wwwoceanseafoodchinatown.com/

Parking available on the lot and easy access from Hill or Broadway Street.  Ocean Seafood will provide validation for FCC's Chinese New Year event only.

BANQUET DETAILS

21. When should we arrive at Ocean Seafood Restaurant?  Our event starts at 5:30pm and doors will open at 5:30pm.

22. How do we find our table/seats? When will the food service and program start? Your table assignment will be posted outside. After the doors open, there will be volunteers to help you find your table. The first 30 to 45 minutes of the event is for socializing, with appetizers on the table. We then do a short welcome and introductions when everyone gets seated. The dinner courses are served throughout the evening, with intermittent entertainment. Our entertainers and honored guests are in high demand and are often double and triple-booked for the evening. We roll with the flow – when they arrive, they perform!

23. What’s on the menu?  Many Chinese delicacies courses are served family style. We make sure to include several vegetarian dishes in addition to those with shrimp, fish, beef, pork and chicken. Special arrangements are made with the chef to send out kid-friendly noodles and rice as the first course (which is totally contrary to Chinese etiquette!). If you or your child requires other dietary accommodations, please let us know and we will try to arrange them – or you may wish to bring your own special snacks or foods.

24. Are there kid-friendly and other special beverages available? Yes, the restaurant will have a cash bar station set up.  Ice water and hot tea will be served at the tables.

25. What entertainment and activities are planned? We typically provide activities at each table for the children, along with a party favor or special gift for each child. The program will include a variety of Asian entertainers. Lion Dancers will lead the children in our own mini-parade through the restaurant, ending in our famous “firecracker/bubble wrap stomp.” Back by popular demand – dance mix music so families can take a twirl on the dance floor.

26. During the entertainment, may we stand around the dance floor to watch?  Not if you are blocking the view of those seated at tables! We invite the children and, if necessary, a supervising parent to SIT around the dance floor to watch the entertainment. Please be a courteous guest and be mindful of those around you. Please keep your children off the dance floor during the performances.  Safety is a top priority and we don’t want any of our young guests or performers injured during the banquet. Your attention to this matter is greatly appreciated.

27. Am I responsible for supervising my children and guests at the event? YES! It is breathtaking to see 200-plus kids having the time of their lives and fun to socialize with friends, but please be aware that you are responsible for watching and supervising your children at all times during the event both indoors and out. We do our best to provide a safe and fun party environment for all, but FCC-SoCal and its volunteers assume no responsibility for child care and supervision.  Please keep an eye on your children (especially the younger ones), particularly during the entertainment and when food is being served to the tables. It is not safe nor acceptable for them to run freely on the floor during performances.  Also, please be aware that, although our group has reserved the full banquet room, there will be no security on duty.  It is recommended to accompany your child to the restroom as there may be other non-FCC parties and patrons in the restaurant.  Additionally no child should be allowed to leave the restaurant nor premises, unattended at any time, as the restaurant entrance is closely located to many moving and parked vehicles in the parking lot.  Please supervise your child(ren) accordingly.  

VOLUNTEERING AND MAKING DONATIONS

28. We’d like to volunteer. How can we help? Great!! Volunteer activities vary from helping with event set-up and teardown to helping with table planning. You may send your emails to cnybanquet@fccsocal.org.  We will respond as quickly as possible.  

29. Any other questions or tips? Please contact cnybanquet@fccsocal.org.  We will respond as quickly as possible.

SPECIAL ACCOMMODATIONS

30. Our current financial circumstances makes it difficult to attend. Would FCC-SoCal consider special accommodations? FCC-SoCal member families that would like to attend but who have a financial need should contact FCC SoCal at cnybanquet@fccsocal.org to discuss possible accommodation.

 

Gung Hay Fat Choy, Xin Nian Kuai Le and Happy New Year
from your Chinese New Year Coordinating Committee!