2.5mil Lantern Paradise
AUTO City in Prai, Penang, will be transformed into a lantern wonderland for more than three months.
It will be the venue of the 2007 Penang International Lantern Festival, which will be held from 7pm to midnight daily from Sept 15 to Dec 31.
Organised by the Penang Tourism Action Council (PTAC) with the collaboration of the Auto-City Group, the RM2.5mil festival will feature themes like safari, dinosaur and the famous Hello Kitty and Friends.
There will be thousands of lanterns in various shapes and sizes on display at the 4ha venue which will be divided into different sectors, namely, Penang Bridge Arch with Hello Kitty (Sector 1), Kitty’s Village (Sector 2), Animals at Water Front (Sector 3), The Wild (Sector 4), Elephant Rides (Sector 5), Land of Dinosaurs (Sector 6) and Kitty’s Lantern Walkway (Sector 7).
The festival’s Mid-Autumn programme from Sept 15 to Sept 25 will be a star-studded one with appearances by Astro-TVBS Malaysian and Taiwanese artistes, lion and dragon dances, a mascot parade, children’s body painting, games and contests.
Auto-City Group managing director Gary Teoh said the lanterns and programmes would be changed to suit the different occasions such as Hari Raya Aidilfitri, Deepavali, Christmas and the New Year countdown.
“The lanterns will be made in China but some will be assembled at Auto City,” he told a press conference in Penang on Tuesday.
Auto-City Group director Ong Bee Lee said there would be a lantern-making contest on Sept 22 for adults and children.
PTAC product development and planning manager Tan Teong Soon said the festival would be made an annual event like the Penang World Music Festival.
Organising chairman Ng Siew Lai said the festival was one of the 50 anchor tourism products of Visit Malaysia 2007.
Tickets to the festival, priced at RM15 for adults and RM10 for children aged below 12, are now on sale at Auto City’s main entrance.
Visitors will get a free ticket for the same age group for every ticket purchased from Monday to Thursday, except on public holidays and the eve of public holidays.
Teoh said a website on the festival would be set up soon to make it more convenient for locals and tourists to get information on the event.
At least 200,000 people are expected to visit the festival.