The “Heritage Vogue · Hollywood Road” street carnival, organised by the Commissioner for Heritage's Office (CHO) of the Development Bureau (DEVB), concluded successfully last Sunday (4 November), attracting more than 76 000 visitors. That day, the Acting Chief Secretary for Administration, Mr WONG Kam-sing, the Convenor of the Non-official Members of the Executive Council, Mr Bernard Charnwut CHAN, and I attended the event together to enjoy the festive atmosphere along Hollywood Road. With the active participation and support of various organisations and stakeholders, the carnival, packed with fun activities, was held successfully. In offering the public and tourists an opportunity to experience the rich history and the atmosphere of culture and art of Hollywood Road, we also enhance their awareness of preservation and revitalisation of historic buildings.
Hollywood Road is one the earliest roads since the inception of Hong Kong as a port. It got its name from the Holly trees growing on the road back then. Quite a number of declared monuments (e.g., the Central Police Station Compound, Man Mo Temple, Hong Kong Museum of Medical Sciences) and historic buildings (e.g. PMQ) are in the vicinity. More and more people are visiting these places to “check in” nowadays. By showcasing the history, people and character of Hollywood Road through the organisation of “Heritage Vogue · Hollywood Road” street carnival, I hope we can inspire the public to explore our streets and alleys to appreciate the diverse history and culture of Hong Kong.
People going home with bags full of goodies
On the day of the event, a total of about 30 booths and performance venues were set up at the section of Hollywood Road from Wyndham Street to Aberdeen Street. Various exhibitions were in place including the 10th anniversary of the establishment of the CHO of the DEVB. There were also distinctive heritage and cultural tours, such as the “Exploring Hong Kong’s Rich Religious Heritage”, and the “Touring Tai Kwun with the Chiefs” led by the former Commissioner of Police, Mr LEE Ming-kwai, Dick, and the former Commissioner of Correctional Services, Mr KWOK Leung-ming. In addition, an array of activities were offered, including game booths; different kinds of music, dance and children’s Cantonese opera performances; a variety of arts and crafts workshops; traditional costume shows; street sketching activities, etc. The 11 non-profit-making organisations that run the Batch I to III projects of the Revitalising Historic Buildings Through Partnership Scheme (Revitalisation Scheme) also took part in the event to share with the public the results of earch revitalisation project.
Last year, the two-day “Heritage Vogue • Hollywood Road” street carnival attracted over 56 000 visitors. This year’s carnival running only one day has attracted more than 76 000 visitors, which is indeed a heartening figure, reflecting that the event was very well received, in particular by young people. Though many booths were heavily visited with long queues, people were not in any way discouraged from joining various activities such as the Screen Printing Workshop, Creative Accessories DIY, Cantonese Opera Costumes Tryout, Virtual Reality Experience Zone and Zones for Special Photo Taking. I had also visited the “Craft and Technology: Applications of 3D Laser Scanning for Heritage Conservation and Education” exhibition hosted by the Antiquities and Monuments Office and was briefed by the staff on how to take forward heritage conservation with the aid of advanced technology. I would like to share more with you about it at another opportunity.
An unprecedented night parade
That day, more than 26 performing groups set up in different areas along Hollywood Road, giving marvellous music and dance performances at different hours. The finale to the carnival was an unprecedented night parade jointly organised by the Tung Wah Group of Hospitals and Hong Kong Antique and Art Galleries Association for the first time. Chinese dragons, and lions and large-scale Man Cheong (God of Literature) and Mo Tai (God of Marital Arts) puppets, all made of balloons with skillful hands, moved to music along Hollywood Road together with dancers and nostalgic rickshaws, attracting crowds of appreciative members of the public and visitors to take photos on both sides of the road. The night parade marked a perfect ending for the event.
Some parents made the trip to this carnival with their children so that they would know more about the old buildings, history and culture along Hollywood Road. Some children, dressed in colourful Cantonese opera costumes and looking very excited, wanted to play the games at every booth. Some people collected stamps with their family members at various booths to redeem limited edition souvenirs. Some tourists said that such large-scale street cultural and arts performances were quite rare in Hong Kong, so they would support the Government to continue to organise such activities. Seeing the big smiles and the bags of goodies on both adults and children, I deeply felt that this must have been very encouraging to our colleagues and various organisations participating in the event.
Traffic accommodation arrangements
Road closure and traffic diversion are unavoidable when a street carnival is held. I learned that our colleagues had started discussion on traffic arrangements with relevant departments such as the Transport Department, Highway Department, Police Force and Fire Services Department to minimise its impacts on the nearby residents during the early planning stage. In early October, we started to inform residents and business operators nearby about the traffic arrangements for the event and distributed flyers on the special traffic arrangements to passengers at affected bus stops a week prior to the event. We also provided a free shuttle bus service from Central to Mid-Levels on the event day and a flexible schedule of service was arranged in accordance with the actual situation.
Heritage conservation is a lengthy process of which public education is essential. I hope that the “Heritage Vogue · Hollywood Road” street carnival will bring joy to the public and at the same time encourage public engagement, involvement and support for our work in heritage conservation.
11 November, 2018Back