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L.A.'s Chinatown launches nighttime festivities

July 27, 2010 | 11:15 am

Chinatown3In an effort to draw visitors to Chinatown after dark, the city of Los Angeles has teamed up with community groups and a local radio station to unveil a month-long series of nighttime festivities starting Aug. 7.

The festivities are part of a $3-million effort by the city's Community Redevelopment Agency and Chinatown business owners to revitalize the neighborhood near downtown Los Angeles.

For the last 20 years or more, critics say Chinatown has become almost deserted after dark because of increased crime and the exodus of Chinese American families from the neighborhood, among other factors.

The first night of the series will feature dance and cooking demonstrations, calligraphy lessons, food sales and music by a KCRW-FM DJ.

The schedule of activities is available at the Chinatown Summer Nights website.

The festivities will continue every Saturday in August from 5 p.m. until midnight.

[Update: A previous version of this story said the festivities end at 10 p.m. They end at midnight.)

-- Hugo Martin

Photo: Chinatown at night. Credit: Los Angeles Times