The City of Sydney spends around A$1 million each year on its famed Chinese New Year Twilight Parade, writes Sophie Loras.
Sydney remains the top destination for Chinese visitors to Australia, with the two-week Chinese Lunar New Year holiday proving a peak travel time. The City of Sydney, which leads the way in its cultural engagement with Asia and China during this time of year, estimates around 150,000 visitors from China and Asia visited Sydney during this year’s Chinese New Year holiday period, in part drawn to the city’s lavish Chinese New Year Twilight Parade and fireworks. It was the City of Sydney’s 16th Chinese New Year Festival and 12th Twilight Parade.
This year’s Year of the Dragon-themed parade showcased nearly 3,000 performers – many of them, artistic troupes from China and other parts of Asia, 24 floats, light projections and a fireworks display.
An estimated 100,000 people lined Sydney’s streets to witness this year’s parade on January 29, making it the city’s biggest to date.
The two-week festival included the annual Twilight Parade, Chinese New Year Markets, dragon boat races, a fireworks display and new events including world-class art exhibitions, live performances, food tours and children’s activities.
“We promised our biggest and best Festival yet and record attendance figures at the key events show we have achieved just that,” said Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore.
“We have cemented Sydney Festival as the biggest and best celebration of the Lunar New Year outside Mainland China.”
Ms Moore said the city’s Lunar New Year festivities had reaped “enormous benefit” to the city’s local economy.
The City of Sydney invests around $1 million in bringing the Sydney Chinese New Year Parade to life and involves the hard work of 275 staff, 22 volunteer translators and more than 100 volunteer performers.
Planning for next year’s celebrations, which will ring in the Year of the Snake, are already underway. ■
To read more about Chinese Tourism to Australia, click here.