Chinese New Year celebrations in Newport to double
One of Newport's most popular annual events will double in space next year to keep up with increasing demand.
The town's Chinese New Year celebrations were a huge hit last year, but organisers received one piece of feedback: it felt too cramped.
And so when Lucy Luk and her team started planning the celebrations for the Year of the Rat, they decided to expand operations.
With the extra space comes extra work, and Mrs Luk is calling for volunteers to get involved.
It is the fourth year that Chinese New Year is coming to Newport, and each year has gotten bigger.
This year's celebration will take place on February 2, and there are more than a few changes on the way.
"It's just grown and grown each year," Mrs Luk said. "Last year people were wobbling a bit on the edge of the road – there were just too many people for the street.
"Expanding felt like a natural progression. There wasn't a little bit of extra street, we needed to double it."
The event will now cover the same space as the Food Frenzy, taking place in St Mary Street, Lower Bar, and High Street.
The increased space will allow for more stalls and a bigger performance area.
Crowds will be able to see the likes of lion dancing and martial arts at the Buttercross.
It is a far cry from how the event started, as a packed event at the Navy Club.
The following year, it moved out into the street, but Mrs Luk wasn't quite sure it would catch on.
"I didn't even know how we'd fill St Mary's Street the first year," she said.
The time will also be changing, with events beginning at 11am and finishing at 4pm.
In previous years, people have arrived early and begun leaving far before the 5pm finish.
Stall holders and volunteers are being invited to get involved in the festivities again this year.
Organisers are looking for a host of people to get involved, including stall holders who represent other south east Asian countries that celebrate the lunar calendar.
Anybody interested should message the Newport Shropshire Chinese New Year 2020 Facebook page.
Mrs Luk said she was thrilled by the support she had received since starting the event.
"It just highlights what a fantastic town Newport is for embracing this cultural event," she said.
"Although we're making it bigger, it's still definitely showing the community spirit."