Crown Melbourne is gearing up to again welcome thousands of Melbourne visitors over the Lunar New Year period with the complex set to be transformed into a mecca of celebration and activity, as Melbournians ring in the Year of the Pig.
Following a knock-out first appearance in 2018, the banks of the Yarra River will again be brought to life with the roar of the mighty fire breathing dragons designed by local artists. With the Hawkers' Bazaar Riverwalk Festival and Zodiac Spectacular set to return to the annual program, along with the highly popular, interactive ArtVo optical illusions making an appearance, there will be something on offer for everyone to enjoy.
Headlining the program, and making its Lunar New Year debut is Crown Melbourne's KARA-OK Finale competition during Hawkers' Bazaar on Saturday 9th February. Karaoke holds a special place in people's hearts, where performers get the audience on their feet not for their talent, but for the passion, bravery and prowess they bring to the stage.
Enter stage left, Crown Melbourne's national search for the best KARA-OK talent, where vocal talent is optional. The finale performance follows a national competition that searched high and low for Australia's best performer. The competition will reach its crescendo with the most enthusiastic talent being awarded a $10,000 cash prize and the glory of being Australia's most passionate KARA-OK performer.
At the helm of the search and hosting at the finale will be Hung Le, Melbourne comedian, author and KARA-OK enthusiast, alongside judges; Xavier Walsh, Chief Operating Officer, Crown Melbourne and singer Tim Campbell, who will be making the final call and awarding the accolade.
"Music has always been a fun and entertaining way for me to express myself. What I may lack in actual talent, I certainly make up for with my enthusiasm!" Le says. "KARA-OK is an enjoyable pastime where we can champion the brave in a fun and light hearted manner – it's a great way to celebrate with family and friends this Lunar New Year."
Supporting the Lunar New Year program and coming to life inside Crown's Atrium is the yearly Zodiac Spectacular. This includes 11 larger-than-life luminous animal sculptures alongside a traditional hanging lantern installation. Scattered throughout Crown during the festivities will also be the highly popular ArtVo activations, where everyone can enjoy capturing themselves in a Lunar New Year themed optical illusions.
Outside, Melbourne's Riverwalk will replicate the bustling streets of Asia, when the Hawkers' Bazaar opens for three days from the 8th-10th February. Guests that stroll down the banks of Melbourne's Yarra will be treated to exquisite Asian cuisine and entertaining multicultural music acts. Get in early on the Saturday to secure the perfect spot on the Riverwalk to see the fireworks display, which starts from 9.45pm.
With lion and dragon dance performances also taking place, along with Chinese acrobatics, an outing to Crown is sure to be enjoyed by all.
Crown Melbourne's Chief Operating Officer, Xavier Walsh, says that Lunar New Year is a special time at Crown and great way to kick off a prosperous year ahead for the entire community.
"Each year we're committed to bringing to life traditional and unique Lunar New Year celebrations for all Melbournians, and 2019 is set to be our biggest yet. The festivities will have something that appeals to everyone and will no doubt be a great weekend out for friends and families," says Walsh.
Crown Melbourne's KARA-OK competition launched on 22nd January via the Crown website, with entrants vying for the major prize of $10,000.
For further details and all other information, please visit www.crownmelbourne.com.au