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 January 23, 2014
Hong Kong Prepares To Welcome The Chinese New Year

 The Year of the Horse approaches and, for the 19th year, there is to be a magnificent night parade through the streets of Hong Kong. With the theme "New Year Party @ World City", the event -- which this year falls on 31 January -- will thrill spectators with a variety of elements related to that noble creature -- the horse.

The event is organized by the Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB) and title-sponsored by Cathay Pacific Airways. The Hong Kong Cultural Centre stage, harbourside in Tsim Sha Tsui, will become a 'circus' where the 13 magnificent floats and exuberant performing troupes from 15 countries and regions will appear, before wending their way in procession through the famous streets.

The floats will be accompanied by 10 international performing troupes and 11 local groups. International groups hail from Australia, France, Ireland, Japan, Korea, Macau, the Netherlands, Singapore, Spain, Trinidad, Barbados, St.Lucia and the USA, who will join groups from China and Hong Kong in this spectacular event. In this line-up, Starlight Alchemy from Singapore will literally play with fire; the Korea Taekwondo Association, and the Aussie Cheer and Dance Collective (featuring the Pride Dance Team) will please the crowds with their vibrant dancing; the Bicycle Showbank from the Netherlands and The Toys from France will perform amazing stunts on bikes and stilts respectively, while LUXe from Ireland and Journey to the Caribbean from Trinidad, St. Lucia and Barbados will be attired in over-the-top costumes to add yet more colour and gaiety to the parade.

Other incredible performances will include fire-dragon dances, magic tricks, hip-hop dances and the Hong Kong "king" and "queen" of clowns, both champions in the World Clown Competition. And, of course, there will be music, music, music: marching bands, African drumming, jazz, pop and more.

In launching news of the parade, HKTB Chairman Dr Peter Lam said: "The HKTB is grateful to Cathay Pacific for being the title sponsor of the night parade for the 16th straight year, and to the other sponsors and parties for their support of the event." Mr John Slosar, Chief Executive of Cathay Pacific Airways added: "The International Chinese New Year Night Parade is an event that highlights everything that's great about Hong Kong. It's a vibrant, colourful and fun-filled spectacle that is the perfect way to begin celebrations for the Lunar New Year. Cathay Pacific is committed to supporting events that help make Hong Kong an attractive place to live or visit, and that's why we have sponsored the parade for 16 consecutive years. We are very proud to be back as title sponsor this year, and we look forward to welcoming the Year of the Horse together with tens of thousands of people from Hong Kong and around the world."

Tickets for seats at the parade will be for sale at the HKTB Visitor Centre in the Tsim Tsa Tsui Star Ferry Concourse from Saturday, 25 January, while those who prefer to watch from Hong Kong's vibrant streets can do so for free.

And when all the fun and excitement is over, well ... it's not really over! On 1 and 2 February a number of the international performing groups from the parade will perform at Lam Tsuen Wishing Square in Tai Po and at various 'hotspots' around the city. And from 1 -- 16 February some of the parade floats will also be on display in Lam Tsuen Wishing Square, providing lots of great 'photo ops' for families and friends.

In addition, there will be a spectacular harbourside firework display on 1 February, special theatre performances, the 14-day Well-Wishing Festival, the famous Chinese New Year Race Day and, of course, wonderful decorations and delicious celebratory foods everywhere. It's one of the best times to be in Hong Kong, Asia's World City.