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Giant Puppets Parade Through Town

October 15, 2014 Destination Global No Comments Email Email

A troop of gigantic puppets, plus walking art pieces and more than 600 students wearing their self-made costumes will parade throughout the busy streets of Hong Kong, celebrating the annual Standard Chartered Arts in the Park Mardi Gras.

The two-day carnival, to be held on 15-16 November this year, is organised by the Hong Kong Youth Arts Foundation and sponsored by Standard Chartered Bank (Hong Kong) Limited.

One of the world’s largest community arts carnivals and a must-see event in Hong Kong, the fun-filled fiesta, with its colourful Night Parade and Grand Finale Parade, will be held over two consecutive days and is expected to attract over 120,000 visitors from local and abroad.

At the Night Parade, spectators will be marveled by the 17 illuminated giant puppets, rod puppets and roaming costumes move through the crowds in Causeway Bay, one of the busiest shopping districts in Hong Kong. The parade team will be joined by artists from Lantern Company, a UK-based art group, who will bring their unusual work of giant puppets to town, creating a unique scene and experience in the dynamic city.

The fiesta will reach its climax at the Grand Finale Parade, one of the largest youth giant puppet parades in the world, with over 600 young people participating in the street party to showcase their talents and creativity. It will feature 11 enormous puppets up to 12-feet tall, 60 rod puppets, and hundreds of costumes created by professional artists and students in Hong Kong.

Together, the two parades will feature over 125 dancers performing original choreography created by professional choreographers and the dancers themselves.

When art and science meet

Every year, the fiesta takes on a different theme. Under the theme “Defying Gravity” this year, all art pieces and performances are inspired by the powerful synergy that exists between art and science. Local artists and young people will ignite their imaginations and draw inspiration from topics ranging from time travel and astronomy to wildlife and robotics, bringing to life the fascination of art and creativity in a wide variety of art forms.

In addition to the two parades, more than 70 youth groups from across Hong Kong will perform live on stage in the two days at Victoria Park. Performances will include singing, dancing, rope skipping, a marching band, magic, acrobatics and more. Over 20 free arts stalls and workshops will also be hosted at the event, where visitors of all ages will become artists themselves in activities such as handicraft-making, drum-jamming, face-painting and balloon sculpting.

An education programme tuned into a must-see event

First started in 2001, Standard Chartered Arts in the Park Mardi Gras is an annual youth art education programme that lasts for six months and climaxes in a two-day fiesta in November. Each year, over 3,500 students from 200 schools and youth organisations in Hong Kong participate in the activities and create the highly dramatic art pieces and dance routines for the parades under the guidance of professional local artists and art teachers. By giving them opportunities to develop skills in arts, creativity, performance, team building and leadership training, the programme aims to contribute to the long-term development of Hong Kong’s youth, as well as the community at large.

Originally held at Stanley Plaza, the annual event was expanded and moved to Victoria Park in 2008. In 2012, the Grand Finale Parade was taken to the busy streets of Causeway Bay for the first time, and the Night Parade was inaugurated in 2013. The Mardi Gras is inspired by international art festivals and carnivals such as London’s Notting Hill Carnival and Brazil’s Rio de Janeiro Carnival.

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