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Shanghai set for huge tourism gala
By Tian Xiuzhen (China Daily)
Updated: 2004-07-20 02:29

Preparations are well under way for a huge tourism gala expected to attract swarms of visitors from home and abroad.

"We are sure to make the city the safest and most pleasant destination for tourists from around the world," said Yao Mingbao, director of the Shanghai Municipal Tourism Administrative Commission.

"Every government organ involved is expected to make a contribution to the success of the event," he said.

A Chinese couple looks at the unlit historic waterfront Bund district in Shanghai July 14,2004. Shanghai's usually well-lit Bund plunged into darkness after officials switched off the dazzling colored night illuminations as temperatures soared above 35 degrees. [Reuters]
The three-week-long 15th Shanghai Tourism Festival will be held between September 18 and October 6 -- during the golden autumn. It is expected to be forged into "a festival of the world" and "a festival of the public."

A ticket centre will be set up to enable visitors to purchase admission tickets to all festivities to be staged in the city.

To make the festival a true world-class affair , designers from internationally famous carnivals have been invited to help plan this year's event, he added.

The Shanghai Promethean/Kern Tourism and Culture Development Co Ltd, a joint venture set up last year by Kern Studios -- designers of the famous Mardi Gras in New Orleans, the United States -- and enterprises in Shanghai, is participating in planning and organizing major events for the festival.

According to the schedule, the city will showcase a series of festivities to enhance the city's fame.

On the opening night, a float parade composed of 22 floats, 16 of which come from outside Shanghai, will linger along Huaihai Road, a major thoroughfare of the city.

A wind band from the Rose Festival in the United States, a Jazz band from "Mardi Gras" of New Orleans, and wind bands from other countries such as France and Japan will take part in the pageant.

The float parade will tour around the city and a competition will be held with prizes for the top float.

A carnival will also be held on the pedestrian section of Nanjing Road that night with a host of famous singers and dancers dotting the entire block.

As a traditional programme, the international music fireworks festival will continue in the Century Park in Pudong and masters from Switzerland, Britain, Japan and Argentina will present a fireworks show.

Jinmao Tower will host a second skydiving show with 36 participants from more than 30 countries and regions such as the United States and Norway. Some jumpers are expected to fall with their feet on fire.

From September 25 to October 5, scores of brightly dressed yachts will parade on the Huangpu River, staging a variety of performances aboard.

"The finals of the world top-class model contest are to be held in the city for the first time during the period," said Yao, "the 80 participating models will attract the eyes of the world to the city."

Traditional programmes such as souvenir expositions, rose weddings, travel to factories and farms will also be part of the festivities.

Restaurants and department stores are urged to provide quality and reliable services while traffic regulators are called on to smooth travelling.

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