By Aldwyn Altuney
Gold Coast Chinatown, in the heart of the Gold Coast CBD, comes alive with Asian culture, food, children’s activities and entertainment during market time,”
— Mayor of the City of Gold Coast, Tom Tate.
MONTHLY Chinatown Street Markets are proving very popular in the ever-evolving $8 million Gold Coast Chinatown since they returned in March this year.
Mayor Tom Tate said more than 40,000 people visited the Chinatown Street Markets in 2016 to sample the flavours, colour and ambience of the Orient.
“Gold Coast Chinatown, in the heart of the Gold Coast CBD, comes alive with Asian culture, food, children’s activities and entertainment during market time,” Mayor Tate said.
The markets are held every second month from March to November from 5pm to 9pm in the Gold Coast Chinatown, Southport.
They offer a blend of cuisines from across Asia, inspiring a celebration of fresh, authentic food for locals and visitors.
Mayor Tate said stallholders considered the markets a resounding success.
“New local shops and restaurants are now open and extending their trading hours during market times offering a unique and thriving atmosphere for diners,” he said.
Gold Coast Chinatown is an integral part of the revitalisation of Southport as an international CBD.
It has evolved over the last two years with the installation of a Confucius statue, modern Chinese lanterns and the first of three traditional Chinese gates (Paifang). The second traditional Chinese gate will open in 2017.
“It is the place to celebrate the Gold Coast’s diversity through culture, design, people and food,” he said.
With funding coming from the Gold Coast City Council and investment from partnership cities, Gold Coast Chinatown is one of Australia’s first modern Chinatowns and is located in Southport, the city’s most culturally diverse centre.
“Chinatown continues to evolve, offering authentic Asian experiences through an exciting mix of businesses including restaurants, small bars, karaoke, boutique retail, cultural festivals and celebration,” Mayor Tate said.
“Chinatown offers something different on the first Saturday of every month when its streets come alive with a range of exciting events such as free films, pop-up bars, multicultural celebrations and the much-loved Chinatown Street Markets.”
The city’s largest Lunar New Year Celebration 2017 attracted tens of thousands of people as the Year of the Rooster was welcomed in on February 4 at Gold Coast Chinatown.
The free event featured an Asian-infused street food market, live music and cultural entertainment, interactive workshops, screening of Kung Fu Panda 3, pop up laneway bar and a spectacular fireworks display.
This is the third year the Gold Coast has held a Lunar New Year celebration, also commonly referred to as Chinese New Year.
Mayor Tate said events like Lunar New Year were helping to secure Southport’s reputation as an international CBD.
“As our CBD grows, so does its reputation, especially amongst the multicultural community. It’s becoming a hub for culture, food, retail and events,” he said.
“I urge anyone who hasn’t visited Chinatown to check it out.”
Entertainment included lion dancers, roving acrobats, stilt walkers, Japanese drumming, Filipino bamboo dance and Chinese lotus dance.
Bottled water was not sold at Lunar New Year to help reduce waste. Instead, free water re-fills were available so people were advised to bring their own bottles. This is also the case during the street markets.
Upcoming Chinatown Street Markets will be held on May 6 and July 1 from 5pm-9pm and Diversity Gold Coast celebrations will be held on June 3, 2017.
Chinatown features extra events on the first Saturday of every month, when its streets come alive with free films, pop up bars and multicultural celebrations Gold Coast Chinatown is at Young and Davenport Streets, Southport. It also includes Regent and Davison Lanes and the block boundaries of Nerang, Scarborough and Garden Streets.
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