Drone, firework shows set to help Hong Kong International Dragon Boat Races go with a bang

Crowds watching the Hong Kong International Dragon Boat Races next month will be entertained with drone and pyrotechnic shows for the first time as one of 210 mega events in the city this year, with the competition expected to attract at least 130,000 locals and tourists.

The HK$17 million competition, jointly organised by the Tourism Board and the Hong Kong China Dragon Boat Association, will take place on June 15 and 16 in Victoria Harbour at the Tsim Sha Tsui East Promenade with more than 4,000 competitors in over 170 teams from 12 countries or regions – up from 10 last year.

“The entire event is expected to draw at least 130,000 tourists and locals. We see that as a very good figure, but of course, it will be dependent on the actual situation such as weather,” board executive director Dane Cheng Ting-yat said on Wednesday, without giving an estimate of the economic benefits of the events.

Cheng said different fringe elements would be organised in conjunction with the races including a drone performance, a pyrotechnics show, food stalls, and photo spots to encourage participation and “elevate the overall atmosphere of the competition and the Dragon Boat Festival itself”.

The drone show, scheduled for June 10, and pyrotechnic displays on June 15 are not included in the HK$17 million budget for the dragon boat races and related events.

The Tourism Board’s Dane Cheng (left) and Kenny Lo, president of the Hong Kong China Dragon Boat Association, drum up interest for the coming races. Photo: Elson Li

With Hong Kong set to host “one mega event every two days” in the latter half of the year – including artistic and creative activities, sports competitions, large-scale conferences, trade exhibitions and financial summits – in a bid to promote a “mega-event economy”, Cheng said the abundance of the events was what the city needed.

Asked if the intensive line-up would dilute the impact with a lack of focus, Cheng said: “It will not be. It’s precisely where the attention should be, that we have mega events of different scales every two days. It will be a feature of Hong Kong as an international cosmopolitan city.

“While not everyone will be of the grandest of scales, they will each have their own unique characteristics in different industries and fields.”

Over the course of the two-day event, paddlers will compete for 17 different titles in races over a distance of 500 metres, with prize money of as much as US$10,000 for four of the championships.

Among the teams set to compete are Dragonboat Thailand, which include members from the Thai military, the 90-strong Singapore National Dragon Boat Team and Desert Dragons Abu Dhabi.

Organisers said food and drink stalls would be included as part of the event for the first time, with 10 booths on the Avenue of Stars between June 8 and 16. Photo spots featuring characters from stickers used in the popular messaging app “Line” will make a return.

The competition is among more than 100 mega events the government announced on Tuesday will be held in the second half of the year, including 15 new shows, conferences and exhibitions.

Officials said the events were “value for money” in terms of attracting visitors and bringing economic benefits to the city.



Read More

Leave a Reply