A Chinese lion will lead the way to good fortune for businesses at Northfield Shopping Centre as part of the town’s cultural celebrations.
The event on July 11 is part of the Culture Mash month of activities organised by Northfield Business Improvement District team.
Art and craft sessions will be on offer along with lion dance demos and workshops, Chinese calligraphy and fun games such as a ‘chopstick challenge.’
Youngsters taking part will be encouraged to make their own rainbow ribbons to perform the Ribbon Dance, and can then join in with the grand finale – a loud and lively parade led by the Chinese lion, weaving its way from the shopping centre to nearby Prices Square.
Sue Yeng from the Redditch Chinese Association will be leading the fun on July 11 and is urging as many people as possible to come along and join in.
She said: “The adults seem to enjoy these events as much as the children so it really is open to all ages.
“We’ll have lots of fun with the creative activities – Chinese lantern making, playing instruments, or being part of the workshops on How to Lion dance.
“All the children, and the parents will be part of the final Parade, led by the Chinese Lion, stopping occasionally to bless the local businesses.”
Sue’s husband Boon will be the man in the mask leading the parade in the elaborate Lion, brought over from his homeland of Malaysia.
She said: “This is the full-size one and we also have a junior one and a baby one that is good for toddlers to have a go with – we’ve got a whole family of them which makes for a good photo opportunity.
“There is a lot of tradition surrounding the Chinese lion and we are looking forward to sharing that heritage with the people of Northfield.”
The event is part of a wider project encompassing the shopping centre, the town and the park and bringing together individuals, groups and businesses for the Northfield Culture Mash.
Organised by the Business Improvement District in conjunction with the Northfield Community Partnership, it involves arts and entertainment across the town.
It kicks off with Northfield Carnival on Victoria Common on July 4, with arts & activities on Prices Square provided by Northfield Arts Forum, and ends with a beach party with soul and reggae performers, which runs from July 22 to July 26. Other family fun activities will be taking place on Prices Square at the same time.
Marcia Greenwood from Northfield BID said: “There are so many activities planned – live music, magicians, jugglers, artists, bouncy castles, pottery workshops, clowns, comedy shows, helter skelter – a bit of everything.
“There is also a fairy-tale themed treasure hunt, a play to watch and things going on around the town centre and in the park, which is why we want this event with the Redditch Chinese Association to bring the fun from Northfield Centre out into the surrounding area too.”
Northfield Shopping Centre manager Pete Barber said: “We’re looking forward to welcoming the Redditch Chinese Association to the centre and are hoping their lion dance will bring good fortune to both our retailers and their customers.
“It is great to be involved in a wider community event and I am sure it’s going to be a lot of fun too.”
The Chinese craft workshop and parade will be held at Northfield Shopping Centre on July 11 from 10am to 1pm and the Northfield Culture Mash runs from July 4 to July 26.
For more information on the events and timetable of activities visit www.facebook.com/northfieldtowncentreevents