News People of Maidstone celebrate Lunar New Year

People of Maidstone celebrate Lunar New Year image

Maidstone came to life on Saturday 3 February, as hundreds of people flocked to the town and celebrated Lunar New Year 2024.

Working with Cohesion Plus and Maidstone Cultural Group, Maidstone Borough Council (MBC) supported the event which saw a fantastic colourful and energetic display which included dazzling Chinese Lions prowling around the town centre and Lockmeadow.

The Mayor of Maidstone, Cllr Gordon Newton, who attended the celebrations said:

It was wonderful to see so many people taking part and celebrating Lunar New Year in the town centre.

The entertainment was superb and demonstrated the breadth of talent and culture we have in Maidstone.

Audiences heard authentic sounds from the SOAS musical ensemble playing traditional silk and bamboo music of the Shanghai tea houses along with beautiful music from the Chinese Opera. The stunning Sichuan changing face and ribbon dance puppets also entertained the crowds, all completely free of charge.

As part of the Celebrations, free dragon crafts took place at Lockmeadow Entertainment Centre, along with the amazing Chinese Lions dancing.

Gurvinder Sandher MBE DL, event organiser and Artistic Director of Cohesion Plus commented:

We were incredibly pleased to deliver this year's Lunar New Year celebrations, ushering in the Year of the Dragon, working in partnership with the Maidstone Cultural Group and Maidstone Borough Council.

We were so proud to be able to deliver an exciting and vibrant programme of Chinese Opera, Puppetry and Orchestra as well as the dynamic Dancing Lions, wowing onlookers who turned out in their hundreds.  These celebrations are some of the largest put on in Kent and we look forward to making them even bigger and better going forward, with a view of bringing diverse communities together regardless of their heritage and background.  As always, special thanks go to Maidstone Borough Council and Arts Council England for their partnership and support.

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Photographs courtesy of Cohesion Plus taken by Andy Barnes.

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