Hastings to host world record attempt during Chinese New Year celebrations

Mei-Gue Rose and mum Ke Xia Xu have a trial run for the Chopstick Challenge. Pictures by Tony Coombes. SUS-170130-150747001
Mei-Gue Rose and mum Ke Xia Xu have a trial run for the Chopstick Challenge. Pictures by Tony Coombes. SUS-170130-150747001

Shoppers are being invited to see if they can beat the world record for eating the most M&Ms or Smarties using chopsticks in one minute, during Hasting’s Chinese New Year celebrations at Priory Meadow Shopping Centre.

The Chairman of Hastings Chinese Association is challenging shoppers to see if they can set a new benchmark for the 60-second challenge, at Priory Meadow Shopping Centre on Sunday, February 5.

Mei-Gue Rose and mum Ke Xia Xu. Pictures by Tony Coombes. SUS-170130-150800001

Mei-Gue Rose and mum Ke Xia Xu. Pictures by Tony Coombes. SUS-170130-150800001

The Hastings Chinese Association has organised the town’s popular Chinese New Year celebrations for the last six years. Chairman of the Hastings Chinese Association, Acupuncturist Ke Xia Xu, known to her English friends as Sue, hopes the 2017 event will be even bigger and better than ever.

This year, in addition to colourful displays of traditional Chinese dances, music, and martial arts, Sue is throwing down the gauntlet to shoppers to join in a chocolate eating chopstick challenge.

The record for eating the most M&Ms or Smarties in one minute with chopsticks stands at 65, and was achieved by Kathryn Ratcliffe from Newcastle in 2011.

Sue, from Hastings, is inviting members of the public to have a go at beating that number, outside the Marks & Spencer store in the mall at Priory Meadow Shopping Centre.

Hundreds of people are expected to attend this year’s Chinese New Year Celebrations, which run from noon until 2.30pm on February 5 and this year mark the start of the Year of the Rooster.

As part of the entertainment, students from Buckswood School will perform a traditional Lion dance, and there will be a martial arts display from Hastings’ Winchun Martial Arts School.

Sue and her 12-year-old daughter Mei-Gui which means Rose, will join other members of the Hastings Chinese Association and the Chinese Language School’s students to perform traditional dances.

Sue said: “We are really excited about this year’s event.

“It’s always very popular and it’s really important to the Chinese community that lots of people from all over the Hastings area come along to join in the fun.

“We often have a chopstick challenge, which simply allows people to have a go at using chopsticks, but this year we decided to do something different.

“The world record for eating the most M&Ms or Smarties is really fun and I thought it would be a nice challenge for people to have a go at.

“I’ve been practicing and I’m not sure if anyone will be able to do it but it should still be a lot of fun.”

Stacey Bell, manager at Priory Meadow Shopping Centre said: “The Chinese New Year celebrations are always very popular and we hope lots of people will attend this year to enjoy the performances.

“We’re looking forward to a great day of music and dancing. The martial arts demonstration is also expected to be a spectacular show.

“To top it off, Sue has set a really fun challenge with the chopstick M&M eating contest. It’s a great idea and we’re looking forward to seeing how everyone gets on.”

Visitors will also get the chance to have a go at writing their name in Chinese, and fortune cookies will be handed out to the crowd in between performances.

For details of retailers, opening times and events at Priory Meadow Shopping Centre please visit: www.priorymeadow.com.

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