Wong (third left) and Yeo discussing details about the stage to be set up for the carnival.

KOTA KINABALU: The long anticipated lantern parade will be back at Gaya Street on September 29.

The event is jointly organized by the United Sabah Chinese Communities Association of Kota Kinabalu (USCCAKK), Kota Kinabalu City Hall (DBKK), Kota Kinabalu MP and Likas assemblyman office.

USCCAKK president Datuk Susan Wong, together with Mayor Datuk Yeo Boon Hai, made personal inspection of the venue at Gaya Street to ensure that the mooncake carnival and lantern parade would be successful.

She said the association had decided to adorn Gaya Street with lanterns before the Malaysia Day celebration on September 16 to spread the spirit of the Mid-Autumn Festival.

“The event is not only a showcase of Chinese culture, but also an attraction to lure foreign tourists, especially Chinese visitors, to celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival abroad in Sabah,” she said.

While on the subject, Wong also said that the cash prizes for the lantern competition have been increased to encourage more schools, associations and members of the public to take part in the lantern parade.

Champion of the USCCAK category will receive RM1,000 cash prize, followed by RM800 and RM500 for the second and third place winners respectively. There are also three consolation prizes of RM100 each.

The association is also offering three RM200 cash prizes to lantern parade participants who don Chinese attire. The organizers have created an award for the largest team to encourage more participation from USCCAKK member associations as well.

Participants must ensure that their lanterns are movable either by carrying their lanterns, placing the lantern on a dolly or even atop a 1.5-tonne lorry. There is no size limit on the lanterns.

Meanwhile, the cash prizes for the Open category remain unchanged. Nonetheless, the organizer has added three new awards, namely, the best dressed, best design and largest parade team for this category.

Wong urged other Chinese associations in Kota Kinabalu to take part in the lantern parade.

“The event is a great platform to promote our Chinese culture and the multiracial spirit of Sabah,” she added.