Beginning in 1989, there was growing interest in offering a Chinese New Year event in Phoenix. Mr. Clarence Teng, an administrator at the Samaritan Hospital and also a member of the Phoenix Sister Cities Commission, was responsible for the fruition of this dream. With the Phoenix Sister Cities Commission as the co-sponsor, Mr. Teng gained the assistance of both the Chinese United Association and the Chinese Restaurant Association of Arizona, to hold the first festival in January 1991 at Patriots’ Park in downtown Phoenix, where the event would situate for the next 7 years.
Phoenix Chinese Week was incorporated as a non-profit organization and received its Federal Tax-exempt designation as a 501(c)(3) entity in 1995. Phoenix Chinese Week adopted its By-Laws on September 25, 1996. In 1998, under the leadership of Anna Lee, Phoenix Chinese Week held its first festival at the Chinese Cultural Center.
Organizing the Phoenix Chinese Week Festival has involved government offices and organizations, among them Phoenix Sister Cities Commission, Chengdu Sister City Committee, Taipei Sister City Committee, Chinese Restaurant Association, Chinese United Association of Greater Phoenix, American Legion Post #50, Desert Jade Woman’s Club, and a number of local Chinese language schools.
Through its 23 years, Phoenix Chinese Week has been led by these dedicated presidents: Steve Yang, Albert Lin, Eric Chan, Mai Young, Anna Lee, K.C. Tang, Tony Tang, Lin Ling Lee, Wen Chyi Chiu, Jason Yee and Danny Young. This signature event for the local community year after year would not have been possible without the time, energy and dedication of these presidents and countless volunteers.