Year of The Dog as Shropshire's Chinese community gets set to celebrate
The Year of the Dog will kick off early in Shropshire this year with an event all about family.
Newport's Chinese New Year celebrations will include all the usual food stores and entertainment when it is held on St Mary's Street on Saturday.
It is the third time the event has been held in the town, and this year is looking to be the biggest yet.
But organiser Lucy Luk, who had a baby during the planning stages of the event, said this one has been different from the others.
“Our family has grown, we’ve had a new baby,” she said.
“It’s definitely been more of a family thing this year.
“We started it so our children could celebrate Chinese New Year, and share it with their friends to feel like they and their friends could understand their heritage.
“It was so that they could live somewhere that embraced their culture.”
Since Lucy started the event, Chinese culture has become more and more popular.
Further events are being organised in Shropshire and further afield, and bits of Chinese culture are appearing in the national curriculum.
“The Chinese community can be very quiet," Lucy said.
"It’s a shame because along with England, Italy and Greece, they’ve got a really strong culture. It’s a shame to isolate that and not be able to celebrate it.
“It’s nice that there’s this interest in China coming out. There is a big movement at the moment not just looking at China, but seeing that there are so many opportunities outside of Europe as well.”
Other than having a new child and all the struggles that come with that, Lucy said this year's event has been the easiest to organise yet.
“People have been more forthcoming,” she said.
“It was such a success last year, people were very keen to be involved this year.
“It’s been much more relaxed, and very nice.
“There’s been so many other events within the community celebrating the Year of the Dog too.
“Newport Library have got a professional speaker to come in to read stories and we’ll have representatives of Telford’s Chinese School too.
“A lot of people have been trying to support ours and we’ll support there’s – it’s lovely.”
There will be more than 20 stalls selling Chinese influenced food, as well as six hours of entertainment on stage.
St Mary's Street will be shut off throughout the day on Saturday for the event. The entertainment starts at noon.
Chinese New Year will begin on February 16 and is expected to last for about a fortnight.