The 90th Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade was held in New York City on November 24, 2016. This was the third consecutive year that a Chinese-themed float had joined the iconic parade in New York. At the invitation of the Sino-American Friendship Association, Consul General Zhang Qiyue attended the ribbon cutting ceremony for the Chengdu float to debut at Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. Consul General Zhang also met with the Chinese and American performers of the float.
When interviewed by media, Consul General Zhang said tourism is the crucial link that connects the people of China and the United States. It is also a vital drive that helps to promote Sino-U.S. cultural exchanges.
On November 20, 2016, the Closing Ceremony of the China-U.S. Tourism Year 2016 was held in Washington D.C. Chinese President Xi Jinping and his U.S. counterpart Barack Obama sent out congratulatory messages for the year-long tourism cooperation between the two countries.
In the past year, under the joint efforts of both China and the United States, all kinds of tourism promotion and people-to-people exchange activities had been hosted to benefit both Chinese and American people, further strengthening mutual-understanding between the two countries as well as their peoples. All these also created a strong impetus for the new model of major power relationship. The 2016 China-U.S. Tourism Year will certainly open up a new chapter, launch win-win cooperation, and expand the mutual-understanding, trust and friendship between the two sides.
Themed "China's Chengdu - Home of the Giant Panda," the float representing the culture and natural landscapes of the 3,000-year-old city was one brilliant highlight of the parade this year. At 9a.m., under the Chinese folk music, the Chinese float slowly moved forward, surrounded by performers in panda costumes. The float held replicas of pandas and China's UNESCO World Heritage sites of the Dujiangyan Irrigation System, Mount Qingcheng and the world famous the Great Wall of China. It successfully synthesized Chengdu's culture with its natural sites and landmarks.
In front of the float,Chinese and American performers teamed up to give an unforgettable panda-inspired dance routine that fused modern dance with traditional Chinese elements. Chinese traditional Sichuan opera – face changing art – was also the feature on the float. The artists' swift performance of changing faces totally awed the bystanders.
Moreover, there were four characters on the float representing four unique Chinese cultures: The calm, gentle Zhuge Liang of the Three Kingdoms; the poetic poet Du Fu; the mysterious goddess who represents the historical Jinsha culture, and last but not least, the adorable pandas. The unique, traditional culture of Sichuan was fully displayed through the float and the parade team, who successfully demonstrated the rich tourism resources of Chengdu. Through their performances and the beautiful, magnificent sculptures, the float this year sent blessings and greetings from the hometown of pandas to tens of millions of people all across the globe.
Andrew Cuomo, the Governor of New York State; Bill de Blasio, the New York City Mayor; Chuck Schumer, the New York State Senator; Tom Wolf, the Governor of Pennsylvania, and other dignitaries also sent congratulatory messages on the participation of China's Chengdu in this year's Macy's Thanksgiving Parade, praising the charming beauty of Sichuan highlighted by the float this year. Wang Yanjie, Director of China National Tourist Office New York; Duo Yang Na Mu, Director of Chengdu Municipal Tourism Administration; Li Liyan, Cultural Counselor of the Chinese Consulate General in New York, and Zhang Jinping, Chairman of Sino-American Friendship Association also attended the event.