August 7, 2015
Light rail construction ends the city’s annual Chinese New Year Twilight Parade
SYDNEY’S beloved Chinese New Year Twilight Parade has been axed from the city’s event calendar due to the construction of the CBD light rail.
Attracting 130,000 spectators a year, the City of Sydney has run the annual parade down George St for more than a decade, with hundreds of local and international performers taking part.
However, this year marked the final year of the Twilight Parade with the City of Sydney opting to cancel the event indefinitely as light rail construction and disruption looms.
The parade drew performers and visitors from all over the world.
Stephen Gilby, acting creative director of events with the City of Sydney, said without a thoroughfare as big as George St there was no way to accommodate the large-scale event.
“I would love to think we can bring the parade back again one day but it probably won’t happen,” he said.
“Last year we did an extensive community consultation talking about the changes happening due to the light rail and we asked whether they would like us to find a new route for the parade or find something else just as big in its place.
“People were in favour of us finding something new.
The light rail on George St will make it unsuitable for a large scale parade.
“We could look at other parade routes but without George St no other parade route would provide the space to allow as many people to participate.
“We don’t want to make it a smaller event, we don’t want to diminish what it was.”
However president of the Haymarket Chamber of Commerce Simon Chan believes the Twilight Parade should be reactivated once light rail work is complete.
“I understand it is not possible to run the parade while the light rail is being built because without George St it will mean taking a shorter route down a narrower street,” he said.
“In the long term we would like to think the parade will be on again when the work is finished. It is a major festival and it would be good to re-establish it.”
Transport for NSW said it had offered to work with the City of Sydney to find a replacement route for the parade.
“It is disappointing that the event has been cancelled,” a spokesman said.
Haymarket Chamber of Commerce president Simon Chan.
In place of the parade the City of Sydney has appointed fashion designer Claudia Chan Shaw to develop an event that runs for nine days and nights in the CBD and Chinatown.
Lord Mayor Clover Moore said Ms Shaw will help to develop the creative direction for the festival and boost tourism and local business.
TELL US: WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THE PARADE’S AXING?
“With Claudia Chan Shaw as curator and a panel comprising of some of Sydney’s top marketing and cultural advisors and business representatives, we can look forward to an exciting 2016 Chinese New Year Festival,” Cr Moore said.
The City will unveil its new event on July 22.
A scene from this year’s Chinese New Year Twilight Parade.