Date Release 9th September 2012.

The 27th Dragon Boat Festival and Chinese Festival Gala,’ is to be held at Broadwater Parklands, Southport.

The development of the Chinatown precinct in Southport, by Gold Coast City Council in partnership with the community, is part of a plan to revitalise Southport as an international business and cultural district, the first stages of which are set to be commenced in 2014.

This year the Gold Coast Chinatown Association, has joined with the Gold Coast Chinese Club and the Gold Coast Chinese Community in the presentation of

‘The 27th Dragon Boat Festival and Chinese Festival Gala,’ is to be held at Broadwater Parklands, Southport

on Sunday 30th September, from 8.00am to 3.00pm.

Dragon Boat racing is set to commence at 8.00am, The Festival, to be launched at midday by Deputy Mayor, Donna Gates and Chinese Consul General Dr Sun Dali,  will present a full day of Chinese and Australian Musical Performance from Main Stage, with Cultural workshops and displays throughout the Broadwater Parklands.

A special feature is to be the presentation and judging of the Lantern Competition. Locally many schools have become involved over the past few months in making of the traditional lanterns, that will be displayed on the day of the event.

The Lantern Festival traditionally takes place on the fifteenth day of the first lunar month.  It is an important traditional festival in China where various types of lanterns are exhibited. Lanterns are in different shapes and colours. They are made of paper, gauze, silk or plastic in the shapes of fish, frogs, horses, rabbits, roses and lotus flowers.  The Lantern Exhibition is a Chinese custom that has existed for many centuries.

The Dragon Boat Regatta will be conducted throughout the day on the Broadwater Parklands waterfront. The Regatta has not been conducted on the Broadwater for many years, however this year, Mr.Ted Fong, Chairman of The Gold Coast Chinatown Association and long-time supporter of the Dragon Boat activities on the Gold Coast, has proposed the event to be held at the Broadwater Parklands to support the establishment of the Chinatown precinct.

Mr Fong says “I have worked for many years on the development of Dragon Boat Racing, and with the launch of the Dragon Boat Festival on the Broadwater, we have the opportunity to see this event develop to the stage where it has the capacity to draw competitors from throughout the world with thousands of national and international spectators It will not be long before our Gold Coast event rivals those held internationally”

“We are very grateful for the support our local City Council representative, Cr Dawn Crichlow, has given to both the Chinatown Development and our aims in making  the Annual Dragon Boat Regatta, another major Gold Coast sporting event.”

As part of the Festival, The Gold Coast Chinatown Association will have the Development Plans on display, where Gold Coast residents will be invited to make their comments on the proposed Chinatown Development in Southport.

This year is also the 40th Anniversary of the signing of the Australia–China Diplomatic Agreement Mr Fong said “This year our communities celebrate the Anniversary of the signing of the Australia – China Diplomatic Agreement, and the Festival we are presenting, will recognise the long term relationship that has developed between our two countries over the ensuing decades.”

A special Guest of Honour on the day will be Ann Middleton, a Gold Coast resident and business owner, who was part of the ‘Ping Pong Diplomacy’ team that travelled to China as a precursor to the Diplomatic Missions for the signing of this Agreement.

All Gold Coast residents are invited to come along to this exciting, free entry, multi-cultural event, and enjoy the day of competition and cultural activities.