Lunar New Year in St Albans

Chines New Year Festival #1 – Alfreida street, St Albans
Sunday 5th January 2014

Every year for the past 16 years St Albans has come to life with the lunar new year festivities taking place in the closed off Alfreida street. This was the first year I attended the St Albans festival as previously we were always busy performing at either the Springvale, Richmond, Crown or Russell street events (see further down for the dates and locations of this year’s Lunar festivals). It was so great to see all the local traders and the community come together to enjoy the culture and celebrations as they welcome the new year – approximately 70, 000 people were expected to visit the St Albans festival this year.

Opening ceremony

In the opening ceremony we were told by the MC that this is the year of the green wood horse and in 2014 if you’re thinking of travelling or starting that business, now is the time to do it! We also told to watch out for an unexpected romance. 😉 The festival was opened by some special guests including Bill Shorton and some representatives from the Victorian Multicultural Commission, Vietnamese TV and John Watson from the Brimbank Council. There was loud applause when Bernie Finn promised that this was the year that will finally see the removal of the St Albans level railway crossing – let’s keep an eye out for that. Loud firecrackers and vibrant lion dancing brought the main stage to life and then we were off to check out the wonderful aromas that filled the street. Baby D received a red envelope from the beautiful women dressed in traditional attire, score!

The food

All the stalls had fresh food ready for the taking and I thought it was all quite reasonably prices compared to other festivals I’ve been to! All up we spent around $50 pigging out on:
bbq skewers, salt and pepper soft shell crab,
beef wrapped in betel leaves, shrimp pancakes,
Vietnamese iced coffee and sugar cane drink and some Vietnamese doughnuts.

It was such a nice way to spend a Sunday as the sun shone down on us. There were over a dozen rides and games that filled one half of the street creating such a cheerful atmosphere as you walked from one stage to the other. Singing and dancing by the local talents entertained the masses. Food, entertainment, family and great weather, what more could you ask for!

If you missed out last weekend, not to worry! – the St Albans Lunar festival was just the first of the Chinese New Year offerings this year in Melbourne. See the below table for the upcoming dates and locations or you can check out their official website here. Congratulations on such a well run event! See you at the next one!

Upcoming Chinese New Year events

Location Venue Dates Time
Richmond Victoria St, North Richmond Sun, 19 January 2014 10 AM – 10 PM
Springvale Buckingham Avenue, Springvale Sun, 26 January 2014 9 AM – 9 PM
St Albans St Albans Town Centre Sun, 5 January 2014 10 AM – 9 PM
Box Hill Market St and Main St Sat & Sun 1 – 2 February 2014 1 PM – 1 AM
Chinatown Russell St Sun, 2 February 2014 10 AM – 10 PM
Glen Waverley Kingsway, Glen Waverley Sun, 9 February 2014 11 AM – 9 PM
Footscray Hopkins Street, Footscray Sun, 2 February 2014 10 AM – 10 PM

Crown Casino will also run their 12th annual Hawkers Bazaar along the Yarra with many stalls and stages from
Thursday 30th of January – Sunday 2nd of February 2014 and spectacular fireworks displays at midnight on Thursday 30th of January and 9pm on Saturday 1st of February.

If you’re hungry for more check out fellow bloggers Kenny and Arielle to see their adventures at last Sunday’s Lunar festival 🙂

Rewind Dance Crew doing rocking the CNY stages over the years


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