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Parade Adds Shine to HK Festivities
A host of elaborate floats and performing groups from around the world added an extra dimension to the 2003 Cathay Pacific International Chinese New Year Parade in Hong Kong on Lunar New Year's Day at the weekend.

Tung Chee Hwa, chief executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, presided over the launching ceremony of the International Chinese New Year Parade on Saturday afternoon at the Tamar Site.

"Today's parade underlines Hong Kong's position as Asia's world city - a cosmopolitan, free and open society that seamlessly blends the best of East and West," Tung said, wishing everyone a prosperous and healthy Year of the Sheep.

The International Chinese New Year Parade, which was initiated in 1996, has become an integral part of New Year festivities and a major tourist attraction in Hong Kong. The parade has five sub-themes under the main theme "Celebrate Life," namely Style, Vitality, Harmony, Tradition and Future.

Starting the parade was a group of 100 girls from a local ballet school dressed in sheep costumes, who ushered in the Year of the Sheep with their ballet.

To showcase Chinese and international elements, the parade featured 12 international and local floats and 13 international and 25 local performing groups from the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, Japan, and South Korea among others.

The 1-1/2-hour parade drew more than 200,000 people.

(eastday.com February 4, 2003)

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