The first ever Chinese New Year Parade in Croydon is expected to add to the borough’s “blossoming” arts and culture scene as Chinese, British people of Chinese ethnic origin and others come together to celebrate diversity and strengthen Croydon’s community spirit.
A community arts group, Friends of the Phoenix Croydon, is to host the Chinese New Year Parade when the festival is celebrated on Sunday 7 February 2016.
As well as the parade, the festival will bring together local and Chinese arts and culture through collaborative arts activities at various Croydon art galleries, including performances, music, writing and illustration competitions aimed at both adults and children.
Croydon Council has approved the route for the parade, which will start at the Whitgift Centre, pass through central Croydon and finish at Fairfield Halls where there will be a food stalls from Croydon caterers and live performances through the day.
There will be opportunities for children to take part in an illustrated writing competition for schools, Phoenix Tales, in which they will be invited to explore stories of Chinese mythical creatures and learn about the animals in the Chinese zodiac.
The Phoenix Parade grew out of plans to showcase the striking work of Hale Man, artist in residence at the Whitgift.
Hale said: “The Phoenix is a universal symbol of transformation, regeneration, rebirth and new beginnings that reflects and connects the individual with wider stories of change within our society.”
Phoenix Rising, her dramatic sculpture of a flame-coloured phoenix with an eight-metre tail, will be on public view during the Chinese New Year festival. The festival will be followed by a special private viewing after which the sculpture will be on display for about six months at the Fairfield Halls.
Charles Barber, the coordinator of Friends of the Phoenix Croydon, said: “This is a collaborative initiative to create a colourful, artistic and cultural event in Croydon.
“We want our first parade to be fantastic and as colourful as Chinatown’s in London. Artists, arts groups, performers, dancers, musicians, writer to all get involved and we want to include as many diverse community groups on the day as part of the Parade.”
They are seeking like-minded art lovers and local residents who are interested in art and culture on Croydon to volunteer on the day.
More details can be found here.
By HeeJeong Jo
Follow HeeJeong Jo on Twitter: @jeong_7