Warrington town centre is set to be a festival of colour and sound as it welcomes the Year of the Dragon for Lunar New Year.
Taking place on Sunday
, February 18th, Warrington’s Lunar New Year Festival has been organised by Warrington Borough Council in partnership with Warrington Business Improvement District (BID), Culture Warrington, Live Wire and Independent Street Markets and will see a host of free activities planned throughout the day.
The East Asian festival will include an authentic lion and dragon dance, symbolising good luck, health, and prosperity, a martial arts demonstration, arts and craft workshops, live music, face painting, traditional western foods and up to 50 artisan market stalls.
Cllr Tom Jennings, Cabinet member for Economic Development & Innovation at Warrington Borough Council, said: “After a full calendar of events and new openings last year, there is a palpable sense of excitement for what is to come next in Warrington town centre and our intent is to continue establishing and hosting a diverse array of activities that showcase and honour the rich tapestry of cultures flourishing within the various communities of Warrington.”
Amy Dawber, Warrington BID Manager, said: “This is the first time we have held an event of this kind in Warrington and we felt it was important to celebrate the town’s rich culture and diverse communities. There’ll be plenty going on and will promise something for everyone to enjoy.”
The event, which starts at 11am and ends at 4pm, will be held across Queen Gardens in Palmyra Square, Time Square, Warrington Market, Warrington Central Library and Warrington Museum and Art Gallery.
Visitors can join in the fun when Liverpool’s Hung Gar Kung Fu School comes to town, performing a lion and dragon dance as well as a martial arts demonstration from 11.30am in Palmyra Square. The entertainment will then head to Mr Lau’s restaurant on Springfield Street, followed by a performance in Time Square at 1.30pm, and then a stop off at Yum Cha, and finally Warrington Market.
Pamela Lau, Owner at Mr Lau’s restaurant, said: “It’s brilliant to see Warrington coming together to celebrate such an important occasion in our culture. Mr Lau’s loyal following will know we always put on a show for Chinese New Year, and now we get to be involved on a bigger scale.
“In Chinese culture, the dragon symbolises power, nobility, honour, luck, and success. I’d like to wish everyone a happy and prosperous new year, Kung Hey Fat Choi.”
Organisers have also commissioned indoor activities in Warrington Central Library and Warrington Museum and Art Gallery, in partnership with Mulan Culture.
This will include free arts and crafts workshops, from 3D printing dragons to calligraphy, birth year badge, paper flower making as well as displays of the museum’s full collections to celebrate Lunar New Year.
Leah Biddle, Cultural Manager at Culture Warrington, said: “For the festival (Year of the Dragon), together the museum and library will be decorated and from 11am-2pm, visitors can take part in a range of free, craft activities and there’ll also be refreshments with tea and fortune cookies.
“We are starting the celebrations earlier, on February 16th, so families can enjoy the sessions during half-term too. Lunar New Year is an exciting event for Warrington, not only marking the start of the Chinese New Year but also bringing a range of cultures together to learn, enjoy and celebrate as a community.”
To complete the celebrations, Independent Street Markets will showcase up to 50 artisan stalls to explore in Queen Gardens in Palmyra Square, with offerings including a range of street food and drink stalls, independent businesses, live music and face painting.
“The Year of the Dragon is said to foster growth, progress and abundance in Chinese culture – let’s hope it does just that for Warrington,” added Amy, “to everyone who is celebrating we wish you all a Happy New Year.”
Warrington’s Lunar New Year Festival is funded by the UK government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund. Warrington BID is committed to enhancing and promoting Warrington town centre as a thriving and vibrant destination for businesses, residents, and visitors.
Their efforts include supporting events such as this and initiatives that bring the community together while supporting local businesses.
For full timings and a breakdown of events, visit https://wearewarringtonbid.co.uk/warringtonlunarnewyear/