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Chinese New Year celebrations coming to Lancaster city centre

Percy Lee and Josh Leung

The sights and sounds of China will come to Lancaster city centre this month to mark Chinese New Year.

Festivities will run from January 26 to 29 and will include a variety show at the Lancaster Grand, a dragon parade and carnival.

More than 500 Chinese lanterns will adorn city centre streets as an appetiser for the main events.

The festival begins on January 26 with a variety show at the Grand Theatre featuring puppetry, music, traditional singing and dance. Joining professional performers on stage will be 30 current Chinese students or graduates from Lancaster University.

Tickets for the show which starts at 7pm are now on sale, priced £10 adults, £8 students, £5 children. They are available here.

Some Chinese students and graduates will also be taking part in the dragon parade, one of the highlights of the carnival which begins at noon on January 29 in Market Square and runs until 5pm.

The Chinese dragon will be joined by a Chinese lion and together they will parade around the city centre, mingling with shoppers.

Market Square will be the scene of an afternoon of kung fu, Chinese dance, music and magic by professional performers and local schoolchildren.

It’s also the venue for a variety of Chinese-themed stalls selling food, drink and other products. There will be a free photo booth to create your own souvenir of the day, and a Fai Chun writing workshop too.

St Nicholas Arcades will see festival action with a series of pop up performances taking place during the afternoon.

On January 28 and 29, Lancaster City Museum hosts Chinese New Year family friendly papercut activities and will have a temporary exhibition upstairs celebrating Chinese culture which opens on January 26 and runs until February 12.

This month’s event, celebrating the Year of the Rabbit, is organised by Lancaster University graduates, Percy Lee and Josh Leung who run Popber, a non-profitable social platform to help businesses in Lancaster.

They are supported by a committee of Chinese students from Lancaster University.

Popber organised last year’s Chinese New Year Festival which brought crowds of people into Lancaster to watch the Chinese lion and dragon parade and vibrant performances.

“This festival is for everyone in Lancaster and this year it will be even bigger,” said Josh.

“Lancaster is a great city with many people from different cultural backgrounds working and studying here. This festival helps to introduce and promote Chinese culture to people from different backgrounds.”

The festival is a non-profitable event and is funded by Lancaster University, Lancaster University Confucius Institute, Lancaster BID, the National Lottery Community Fund, the Duchy of Lancaster and St Nicholas Arcades, and supported by Lancaster City Council.

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