SIBU: A mammoth crowd numbering over 5,000 comprised of Christians and well-wishers took part in the annual Christmas parade this evening, aided along by fine weather.
The festive mood was almost tangible as the revellers gathered at Dataran Tun Tuanku Bujang Phase One (Sibu Town Square Phase One) as early as 5pm.
The annual Christmas procession of the Association of Churches in Sarawak (ACS), Sibu branch, which started at 6pm, was organised by the Catholic Church under the chairmanship of Monsignor Michael Lee.
Among the notable figures joining the procession was Sibu Municipal Council (SMC) chairman Datuk Tiong Thai King.
This year’s procession was themed ‘I bring tidings of Great Joy, Jesus, the Messiah and Lord to be shared by all’.
The procession was led by the Sacred Heart Bagpipe School Band, Tung Hua School Band, 1st Girls’ Brigade Company and 1st Boys’ Brigade Malaysia.
Prior to the procession, there was an opening prayer, praise and worship, scripture reading, and Christmas message by Catholic Bishop Rt Rev Joseph Hii.
This was followed by the lighting of Christmas candles by chairman of ACS, Sibu Branch Pastor Ting Leh Na, Bishop Hii, Michael Lee, President of Sarawak Chinese Annual Conference (SCAC) Reverend Dr Tie King Tai, vicar of St John’s Church Rev Ramdan Mejem, Superintendent of Borneo Evangelical Mission Pastor Welly Sigo, Methodist Sarawak Iban Annual Conference (SIAC) representative and Tiong.
Earlier, Pastor Ting Leh Na delivered the welcoming address.
Smiling participants could be seen marching along Town Square, Bujang Suntong Road, Island Road, Channel Road, Mission Road, Kampung Nyabor Road, Central Road, Wong Nai Siong Road, back to Kampung Nyabor Road and Town Square.
Meanwhile, the towering 100-foot Christmas tree – the centrepiece of Sibu Town Square this year – came to life on Monday evening, illuminating the festive ambience.
This year’s Christmas tree is the tallest to be put up by the council in recent years.