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Editions

Dragon returns to Docklands

05 Mar 2015

Dragon returns to Docklands Image

The colour and excitement of Chinese New Year returned to Docklands last month, with the arrival of the Docklands Dragon on Harbour Esplanade.

In celebration of the Year of the Goat an 11-day Chinese New Year festival kicked off in Docklands on February 19.

The launch event saw the dragon accompanied by dragon dancers, traditional Chinese drummers, tai chi demonstrations, dance troupe performances, dragon boat demonstrations and an Asian-style food truck park.

Entertainment continued on Friday and Saturday nights throughout the festival, which also saw Victoria Harbour lit up with 1000 good luck lanterns.

The 100-metre-long dragon was handmade by Chinese Culture Works and was constructed using eight tonnes of steel, 1500 metres of silk fabric and 800 LED globes.

This year the dragon was also accompanied by a number of other figures including pandas and a goat, representing this year’s Chinese zodiac.

According to David Men, general manager of Chinese Culture Works, in Chinese culture the goat means good luck.

“So if you want to have good luck come to Docklands and see the goat,” he said at the festival launch.

Commissioned by Eureka Skydeck, the dragon is part of growing Chinese New Year celebrations across Melbourne.

“We are proud to deliver a bigger Chinese New Year celebration in 2015,” Eureka Skydeck general manager John Forman said.

“Our aim is to position Melbourne as the destination of choice for the increasing number of Chinese visiting Australia and to celebrate our rich diverse history.”

City of Melbourne was one of the sponsors of the dragon and at the launch of the festival Lord Mayor Robert Doyle said the council was delighted to celebrate Chinese New Year with Melbourne’s Chinese community.

“When we decided to invest in the Docklands Dragon we wanted to activate Docklands,” the Lord Mayor said.

“We now spend as much on Chinese New Year in Docklands as in the central city.”

“We hope Docklands becomes a real destination for people to come down and enjoy not only the dragon, but also food trucks and the wonderful view across the harbour.”

Destination Docklands also partnered with Eureka Skydeck to support the dragon and  engagement and events manager Kelly Jensen said: “We are thrilled to see the return of the Docklands Dragon to its home on Harbour Esplanade and we are looking forward to seeing the growth of Chinese New Year celebrations in docklands this year and for years to come.”

Over the 11 day Chinese New Year Festival between February 19 and March 1, the Docklands Dragon is estimated to have attracted around 100,000 people.

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