Sunderland’s Chinese New Year celebrations to return after inaugural success

Traditioinal Chinese Lion dance in Keel Square Sunderland as part of the Chinese New Year celebrations
Traditioinal Chinese Lion dance in Keel Square Sunderland as part of the Chinese New Year celebrations
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Enter the dragon -Sunderland’s Chinese New Year celebrations will return next year following the success of the first ever large-scale event.

Around 3000 people turned up to mark the Year of the Monkey in Sunderland’s Keel Square at the weekend to enjoy a full programme of entertainment organised by local businessmen, Harry Collinson and Ian Wong.

Now Mr Collinson has announced that the feedback was so positive that they’ve already started planning an even bigger event for 2017 - The Year of the Rooster.

“There were a few challenges with the weather but families still came out in force and had an amazing time,” he said.

“Everyone entered into the spirit of the day and enjoyed the dragons and lion dancing and we’ve already been asked by lots of people if we are going to do it again next year – and we definitely will.”

The event was sponsored by Sunderland BID, and chief executive Ken Dunbar said it was fantastic to see so many families embracing the experience.

He said: “It was a brilliant event which brought lots of people into the city on Sunday and so also meant a great boost for retailers.

“We are delighted it was such a success and that the city got the opportunity to celebrate other cultures.

“It’s great news that the plan is now to repeat the event on an even bigger scale next year.

“There is quite a large Chinese community in Sunderland, which is growing every year with the arrival of more Chinese students.”

Harry, who heads up Rough Diamond Entertainment which co- created the event, said a lot of people had already expressed their interest about taking part in the future.