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Newport celebrates Chinese New Year - with video and pictures

By Sue Austin | Newport | Telford entertainment | Published:

Lion dancing, martial arts and a huge dragon puppet were just some of the reasons that thousands of people turned out to enjoy celebrating the Chinese New Year in a Shropshire town.

St Mary's Street was closed off in Newport and stalls set up to bring in the Chinese Year of the Pig.

This year those attending the free festival were treated to a spectacular display of Lion Dancing from the professional, Choy Lee Fut team.

Watch the celebrations here:

Chinese New Year celebrations in Newport, Shropshire

Lucy Luk, who organises the event, said Newport had been lucky to get the Lion Dancers.

"There are only a handful of troupes in the UK and they are so busy at this time of year," she said.

The Ace martial arts weapon display team also performed in the square as did Urban Outsteppers, Dance Connection, Bouncing Betty and the Harper Music Society.

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It was the third time the Chinese Festival has been held in the town and it is hoped it will now become an established, annual event - if more people get behind its organisation. Representatives from the Chamber of Trade and the town council lent a hand on Sunday.

Lucy organised the first festival in the local Navy club as a very small event which sold out.

She taught English in China for eight years and while there met her husband, Chi-Wai, who is from Hong Kong.

Fusion

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The couple married and had two of their three children in China before moving the Newport. They have since had another child with a fourth on the way.

"We are very much a fusion family and celebrate both country's traditions." Lucy said.

"When I lived in China I organised Christmas and New Year celebrations for my pupils and wanted to organise something for the Chinese New Year, back in Shropshire. It has just grown and grown."

"This year I managed to get a lot of Chinese lanterns to hang over the street and we had more entertainment that ever.

"We also moved the festival to a Sunday so that it didn't affect the shops so much. In fact many shops that would normally have been closed on Sunday opened especially for the festival."

One of the most colourful draws of the past years has been the enormous authentic Chinese dragon head.

Lucy said sadly this weekend was the last for the dragon in Newport.

"It is so big it takes about eight people just to lift it and it needs somewhere large to store it from one festival to the next," she said.

"It is with a heavy heart that we had to say goodbye to our huge dragon this year, he's been quite a challenge to store and maintain year in year out."

Lucy would also like to hear from people prepared to help out at future festivals. She can be contacted on the festival's facebook page.

Sue Austin

By Sue Austin
Chief Reporter

Chief reporter of the Oswestry/Mid Wales office. Keen to hear your news.

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