I am always looking out for new experiences, wherever in Australia I may find myself.
Cabramatta's Lunar New Year Festival is a two-day celebration that will welcome in the Year of the Snake. It will take place on Saturday February 16 and Sunday February 17, at Freedom Plaza. Last year, more than 12,000 people attended, as the Year of the Dragon was ushered in. Activities to enjoy this year include performances, cooking demonstrations, workshops and craft activities, martial arts and more.
Food lovers should head to Freedom Plaza on Saturday and check out the cooking demonstrations hosted by Allen Lai, the Executive Chef at Iron Chef Chinese Seafood Restaurant, and Tony Inthavong, Owner and Head Chef Holy Basil Restaurant, which will begin at 11.30am. Celebrity Chef Charlie Yan will also be demonstrating his renowned fruit carving at 12.25pm.
Other events on Saturday include a special appearance by hip hop dance crew Kookies N Kream at 1.55pm. The group were Grand Finalists last year on Australia's Got Talent. You can also meet the God of Fortune or participate in the Table Tennis Fundraiser, where you can play against a table tennis champion for a gold coin donation.
A Speed Chinese Chess competition, presented by Mekong Panthers, will also be running from 10.00am to 3.30pm. The top eight players will each get a share in the $1000.00 prize pool. You can register for this event here. Entry is free for members of Mekong Club and the Australian Xiangqi Federation. Those who aren't a member of either organisation will need to pay $10.00.
On Sunday February 17, the festivities will begin with a blessing of Cabramatta by the Australian Chinese Buddhist Association at 10.30am, followed by a VIP lunch. There will also be a Citizenship Ceremony at 11.20am. Mekong Panther has put together an entertainment program for the day that includes a performance by Vietnamese comedian Phuc Hau. You can also visit the NewsLocal Fairfield Advance photobooth or the Nine Network'ssocial media kiosk.
In the lead up to the festival, there will be a shopping promotion run by St George Bank. To participate, all you need to do is spend $10.00 or more at any shop in the Cabramatta Town Centre and complete an entry form, which you can download here. First prize is a $2,000.00 Flight Centre Voucher, with the runner-up prize receiving $500.00 deposit into a St.George bank account and the person who comes third getting a $250.00 deposit into a St George bank account. The winners will be announced on Sunday February 17.