Verizon Wireless To Open Parade of the 2001 Southwest Airlines Chinese New Year Festival

SAN RAMON, CA — Verizon Wireless is an official sponsor of the 2001 Southwest Airlines Chinese New Year Festival and Parade. This event, celebrating the Chinese lunar New Year " Year of the Serpent," officially begins January 24 and runs until February 4.

The highlight of the celebration is the Chinese New Year Parade on February 3. Verizon Wireless will be opening the Chinese New Year Parade with a float of a giant Chinese drum and traditional Gong. The Children from the Jean Parker School will be featured on the float in costume. The children will be playing small drums, bells and wind chimes with the theme of "ancient forms of communication in China." The parade will be broadcast on KTVU Channel 2 on February 3 from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. Verizon Wireless wishes everyone a lively Year of the Serpent.

"This is our third year as an official sponsor of the Southwest Airlines Chinese New Year Festival and Parade," said Ralph Martinez, Northern California Region President. "We are pleased to be a part of this celebration and give back to the communities we serve."

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About Verizon WirelessVerizon Wireless is the largest wireless communications provider in the U.S.with 27.5 million wireless voice and data customers. The new coast-to-coast wireless provider was formed by the combination of the U.S. wireless businesses of Bell Atlantic Corp. and GTE Corp -- now Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) -- and Vodafone (NYSE and LSE: VOD). The new company includes the assets of Bell Atlantic Mobile, AirTouch Cellular, GTE Wireless, PrimeCo Personal Communications and AirTouch Paging. The company has a footprint covering nearly 90 percent of the U.S. population, 49 of the top 50 and 96 of the top 100 U.S. markets. Verizon Wireless, headquartered in Bedminster, NJ, is 38,000 employees strong. Reporters and editors can find more information about the company on the Web at