Watch: Hartlepool community celebrates Chinese New Year

A colourful celebration was held in Hartlepool today to mark the start of Chinese New Year.

The annual event was organised by volunteers from the Hartlepool Chinese Association as part of New Year celebrations to welcome in The Year of the Rooster.

The Lion Dance at the Hartlepool Chinese Association annual New Year Celebrations at the Best Western Grand Hotel, on Sunday.

The Lion Dance at the Hartlepool Chinese Association annual New Year Celebrations at the Best Western Grand Hotel, on Sunday.

Over the course of the day a range of traditional activities took place at The Best Western Hotel in the town including a lion dance, Chinese culture quiz, and a Tai Chi demonstration.

Sandra Chow, chairman of the Hartlepool Chinese Association, was thrilled with the success of the sell-out event, which saw over 200 people come along to enjoy the entertainment and a Chinese meal.

Ms Chow, who set up the association seven years ago, said: "On behalf of the Hartlepool Chinese Association I wish you all a happy Chinese New Year.

"Have a healthy, wealthy and great New Year.

The Lion Dance at the Hartlepool Chinese Association annual New Year Celebrations at the Best Western Grand Hotel, on Sunday.

The Lion Dance at the Hartlepool Chinese Association annual New Year Celebrations at the Best Western Grand Hotel, on Sunday.

"This last year was successful again and we ran all of our usual activities like Tai Chi, Chinese dance and Mandarin class, and of course this Chinese New Year party.

"All of the activities help to bring people together in a spirit of community.

"We have had excellent support from Hartlepool Borough Council, Thirteen Group and the People's Health Trust.

"I am very pleased with how the event has gone this year."

The Lion Dance at the Hartlepool Chinese Association annual New Year Celebrations at the Best Western Grand Hotel, on Sunday.

The Lion Dance at the Hartlepool Chinese Association annual New Year Celebrations at the Best Western Grand Hotel, on Sunday.

The association meets weekly and runs various traditional activities for the community at different centres in the town.

Throughout the day guests enjoyed entertainment including a performance from the Chinese QiPao dance group, a Tai Chi demonstration, as well as singing and musical performances.

Guests included Cleveland Police and Crime Commissioner Barry Coppinger, and the Mayor and Mayoress of Hartlepool, Rob and Brenda Cook.

Mr Coppinger said: "I have supported the association every year since I was elected Police and Crime Commissioner.

"The work that they do in bringing people together and bringing together cultures and tradition in a positive way is really good,.

"The Rooster is a symbol of success and I wish you all a happy and healthy New Year."