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Decorating . . . Tourism Waitaki events co-ordinator Lucianne White (left), intern Amelia Guibbal and marketing co-ordinator Lu Jiang hold Chinese lanterns that will be used to decorate the Oamaru Public Gardens during the Chinese New Year celebration. PHOTO: TYSON YOUNG

Dancing dragons, Chinese lanterns and dumpling demonstrations will be some of the main attractions at this year’s Chinese New Year celebration.

The celebration will be held at the Oamaru Public Gardens on Saturday, February 17 from 5pm to 8pm.

Tourism Waitaki events co-ordinator Lucianne White and marketing co-ordinator Lu Jiang have led the organisation of the event.

Mrs White believed it was important to “shine the spotlight” on the Chinese community because of its close ties to Oamaru.

“We host it to celebrate the Chinese history that we have here,” Mrs White said.

“We also work alongside the Chinese Association.”

Other events include lantern making, traditional Chinese games and dance performances.

This year’s celebration will mark the Year of the Dog.

“It should be a really fun event for everyone,” Mrs White said.

“We encourage families to just come out and enjoy the space and everything that is on offer.”

Chinese New Year celebrations were held at Friendly Bay last year, but organisers are looking forward to what the gardens can offer.

“We’re going to hang a lot of lanterns and really make use of that beautiful space that we have on our back door,” Mrs White said.

She expected the number of people turning up for the event would depend on the weather.

This year’s celebration would be more family-oriented and would focus on the “community aspect”.

“It’s a lovely time to get together,” Mrs White said.

“Enjoy the gardens, enjoy the decorations, enjoy the food – and do something that you don’t do at other times of the year.”