Performers from Beijing...in Hollywood

Nearly 600 performers from Beijing on Saturday staged a large parade for nearly two hours in Hollywood in an effort to showcase traditional Chinese culture to the American public and promote the 2008 summer Olympics, which will be held in the Chinese capital next year.

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa poses for a photo with young girls from Beijing. Around 600 performers from Beijing participated in a large parade in Hollywood on Saturday, March 3, 2007, to showcase traditional Chinese culture to the American public and promote the 2008 summer Olympics. [Photo: chinanews.com]

The event, jointly sponsored by Beijing and Los Angeles municipal governments, attracted thousands of local residents and����tourists, who gathered along Hollywood Boulevard to watch various culturally rich programs by those in colorful classic costumes.

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, while inaugurating the event, said that it was a great honor for Los Angeles that Beijing chose it as the only U.S. city to hold such a gala.

Villaraigosa, who visited China by leading a trade and business delegation several months ago, said the two cities signed friendship agreement last year and face great prospects in fields like trade and tourism cooperation, noting that Los Angles has����become the only foreign city with a tourism office in Beijing.

Besides more that 580 performers, aged from 7 to 70, from all walks of life in Beijing, some 200 schoolchildren and high school students from Los Angeles participated in the parade.

Los Angeles is the only U.S. city where the parade has been shown, after those Beijing performers staged similar annul parade in Paris, London and Sydney in the past three years, organizers said.

The Hollywood Boulevard parade was presented to Los Angeles, which has hosted two Olympic games separately in 1932 and 1984, to announce "Beijing Welcomes You" to encourage visitors to attend the 2008 Olympics, said Yu Debin, deputy director of the Beijing Tourism Administration.

The official said the event also served as an opportunity for those Chinese performers to share their traditional folk culture with the American public.

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