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 January 31, 2005
Hong Kong's Dazzling Chinese New Year Night Parade

 The Chinese New Year is nigh -- 9 February to be exact -- and the Hong Kong Tourism Board's (HKTB) preparations are in full swing for Hong Kong's dazzling 2005 Cathay Pacific International Chinese New Year Night Parade to welcome the Year of the Rooster.

This is the second year running that this popular 10-year-old parade has been held at night, and again it promises to be a magical family affair. Last year's parade was held through Tsim Sha Tsui; this time around the celebration will take place on Hong Kong Island where 300,000 spectators are expected to gather. 13 local groups and 16 international performing groups from 12 countries' will participate.

The theme of this year's parade is "Kaleidorama", a word representative of the kaleidoscopic nature of Hong Kong itself -- a region that fuses ancient traditions with a glittering 21st century lifestyle. Four distinct segments of the parade will celebrate these unique characteristics. "Culture and traditions" will demonstrate the array of centuries-old Chinese celebrations and customs alive in Hong Kong today; "lifestyle" will highlight the fascinating fusion of Eastern and Western cultures; "entertainment" will showcase the many events and activities that delight so many different tastes, while "glitter" will display the city's dazzling colours and festive lights. "The parade promises to be a memorable experience for every member of the family," says Ms Lily Shum, HKTB Regional Director -- The Americas.

The opening ceremony for the parade will take place at 8:00 p.m. on the Tamar site in Admiralty, where the largest-ever performance ground will be created. The site will boast tiered-stand seating, an octagonal stage and the largest octagonal screen in Hong Kong will display different images simultaneously to showcase the city's multi-dimensional attractions and vibrancy. The parade will then proceed along the parade route -- Lung Wui Road, Fenwick Pier Street, Convention Avenue, Fleming Road and Harbour Road -- before returning to the Tamar site. On the route, the HKTB will be setting up two designated performance zones that will add to the excitement for the spectators in those areas and allow for greater audience participation. An ensemble of dance and drums will set the parade in motion, while dragon and lion dances will bring the parade to a close.

The lighting effects both at the Tamar site and along the entire parade route have been designed by Mr Kim Lee, one of the most esteemed lighting designers in Hong Kong. The parade route will be divided into six colour zones: purple, blue, silver, red, orange and gold ... each colour illuminating the many floats and performers in different and unique ways.

In summing up the event, Cathay Pacific Airway's Chief Executive Mr Philip Chen says, "While it is true that great cities all over the world have signature parades, Hong Kong's Cathay Pacific International Chinese New Year Night Parade is unique -- not only as a great tourist attraction but also as part of a family celebration that is special to everyone in Hong Kong. We are delighted to have the opportunity to take part and help bring performers and visitors from all over the world to join in the festivities."