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ENTER THE DRAGON AS SUNDERLAND CELEBRATES CHINESE NEW YEAR

ByDave Stopher

Feb 28, 2024

AN exciting programme of dance, music, crafts and food will ensure that Chinese New Year is celebrated in style in Sunderland this weekend (18 Feb).

From 11am until 3pm Sunnside Gardens will be transformed, with entertainment covering everything from traditional lion dancers to dancing stilt walkers.

The event has been organised by Sunderland BID with Sunderland City Council and Ian Wong, owner of the city’s celebrated Asiana restaurant, to bring a real sense of the important date in the Chinese calendar.

The free event will see both lion and dragon dances, the release of Chinese firecrackers and a whole host of musical performances as well as a martial arts display.

Visitors can also take part in a range of workshops where they can make dragon masks and little dragons, watch a demonstration of the noble art of calligraphy and learn about origami – the art of paper folding.

A range of food and drink stalls will also be in place on the day, serving everything from Chinese noodles to burgers – courtesy of Fat Hippo.

Sharon Appleby, Chief Executive of Sunderland BID, believes that the programme has something for everyone.

“It is going to be a jam packed day with lots of different activities and will be real visual spectacle,” she said.

“It’s an opportunity for people of all ages to learn more about this important day in the Chinese calendar and welcome the year of the dragon in real style.”

Ian Wong of Asiana is equally as excited about the event.

“There is some amazing entertainment and some really skilled performers taking part in the city’s celebrations,” he said.

“I’m so glad that we have been able to mark Chinese New Year right in the heart of the city.”

The event has also been made possible by funding from the UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF) following a successful application made by the BID, which led to an award of £202,253.

The money is being used to deliver a range of initiatives in and around Sunniside with the aim of “building pride in place and a sense of a community.”

Funding has already been used to improve the look of the area, with the installation of festoon lighting and wrapping the trees in Sunniside Gardens in lights.

Further information on all activities is available at www.sunderlandbid.co.uk