Celebrating George Town

By CHRISTINA CHIN
Photos by MUHAMAD SHAHRIL ROSLI and GARY CHEN

Visual feast: The lion dance and Chinese cultural performers thrilling the audience during the event.

THE magnificent fireworks display set against a pitch black sky served as a marvellous end to ‘George Town 1111’ — a three-hour celebration to mark the historic declaration of George Town as a city on New Year’s Day in 1957.

The wet weather did little to dampen the enthusiasm of locals and tourists who came armed with umbrellas and raincoats to join in the celebration.

So lively: Performers gripping painted pots with their mouths in this colourful Punjabi dance.

Totting both professional and handphone cameras, the crowd lined the Esplanade field to snap pictures of a myriad of cultural performances ranging from the popular Chingay and lion dance to silat and wushu demonstrations.

Adding a bit of glamour to the affair were celebrity emcee and host Datuk Mahadzir Lokman and the Saint Xavier’s Institution’s brass band playing Lady Gaga’s ‘Bad Romance’.

The Baba Nyonya dondang sayang troupe clad in their elaborate kebaya and sarong was the main attraction, rivalled only by the state’s beauty queens in a trishaw parade on Saturday.

Booths selling local favourites like nasi lemak and char koay kak as well as delicious French cuisine were also set up for hungry visitors.

A city celebrates: Para-motor pilot Mohd Nafi Sulaiman making his descent at the Esplanade.

The event kicked off on an exciting note as a motorised paraglider descended to hand over a proclamation scroll to Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng.

In his opening speech, Lim stressed on the importance of managing George Town in accordance to international standards.

“Penang is one of the main destinations for international visitors and the state government will take more dynamic and progressive steps to develop the city in order to attract more tourists.

“This is important in increasing the economic revenue of Penang,” he said.

Trishaw procession: Beauty queens parading in front of City Hall during the George Town III celebration.

Earlier, Lim visited the ‘Governors of Penang Exhibition’ and ‘George Town City and Presidents of Municipal Council of Penang Island Exhibition’ at the Town Hall.

The exhibitions featured photographs of some 90 governors who served from 1786 until today and tell the history of George Town — the first British Settlement in Malaya — and how it became a city and the first local authority in Malaysia.

Category: News @ George Town