Maidstone Borough Council is working with Cohesion Plus and Maidstone Cultural Group to bring Chinese New Year celebrations for the Year of the Tiger, into the town between 11am and 1.30pm with performances taking place on Jubilee Square and Week Street.
The celebrations will start at 11am outside the Old Town Hall where the dotting of the eyes ceremony will take place to waken the Chinese Lions, before they lead a procession through the town centre.
The Mayor of Maidstone Cllr Fay Gooch, alongside representatives from the local Chinese community, will conduct the ceremony. In addition, there will be performances from the London Chinese Opera Studio and SOAS Chinese Music Ensemble.
Gurvinder Sandher the Artistic Director of Cohesion Plus commented
“After a gap of one year, we are delighted to be producing a celebration for the Chinese New Year, working with Maidstone Cultural Group and Maidstone Borough Council. We believe it is important that events like these take place in the County Town of Kent showcasing how arts and culture can not only bring communities together but also drive footfall in the urban town centres and public spaces. We have always had good support for this particular event and we hope that this year is no exception.”
Cllr Martin Round Chair of the Economic, Regeneration and Leisure Committee said:
“Chinese New Year celebrations are always colourful and vibrant so it is wonderful they are being brought into our town centre, this looks set to be a fabulous day. I would encourage everyone to come into town to see this amazing display of culture and colour.”
Maidstone Borough Council has recently been allocated funding from the Welcome Back Fund, part of £56 million provided to councils across England from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) to support the safe return to high streets and help build back better from the pandemic. It builds on the £50 million Reopening High Streets Safely Fund (RHSSF) allocated to councils in 2020 and forms part of the wider support government is providing to communities and businesses. A share of this money has been used to fund the Chinese New Year celebrations.