The "Millennium Extravaganza" promises to be the most exciting local production ever staged. It would be a culmination of light, sound and visual presentations.
This was said by the Secretary for Home Affairs, Mr David Lan, today (Friday) at a press conference to announce details of the New Millennium Celebrations programmes.
The Millennium Extravaganza, an official event to celebrate the advent of the New Millennium, will be held at the Happy Valley Race Course in the evening of December 31, 1999.
The main concert will be preceded by the usual horse racing from 7 pm to 10 pm. At 10.30 pm, Mr Jacky Chan will make a grand entrance with a group of singers and dancers to mark the opening of the concert. The concert's tempo will pick up as more major artistes join in the performance, including Mr Alan Tam, Mr Leslie Cheung, and other prominent entertainers. The highlight would be a duet by Ms Sarah Brightman and Mr Jacky Cheung. Two Hollywood celebrities, Mr Chow Yun-fat and Ms Michelle Yeoh, will grace the evening with their appearance. The Millennium Song will be sung by top local artistes led by Mr Jacky Chan.
As the clock strikes 12 midnight, the senior officials will lead all the spectators in the countdown. The Course will then explode into a record setting ring-of-fire pyrotechnic display.
The Millennium Cup race will take place at 12.45 am to evade any Y2K hiccups. The Sweepstakes lucky draw will then follow at 1 am. Other programmes like the lantern display and dragon dances will add to the carnival atmosphere. The concert will conclude at 2 am. All these will be broadcast live over local television channels and giant video walls around Hong Kong.
Mr Lan said, "This concert was put together with the help of many parties. They have all worked very hard to ensure that every aspect of security, safety, Y2K issues, traffic arrangements and noise levels have all been carefully looked into. Detailed operational and contingency plans have been devised with each party fully aware of their respective duties under any circumstances."
Because of its complexities and possible disruptions from Y2K bugs, special permits have been distributed for the use of mobile phones at the Race Course for that evening.
The Millennium Extravaganza marks not an end but the start of a new beginning.
There are also other Millennium programmes such as the International Conference on "Heritage and Tourism" on December 13-15 and the Millennium Cup Soccer Celebration on December 19. The Bauhinia Festival, the conference on "Culture and Humanity in the New Millennium" and the Millennium Charity Walk are also scheduled in January.
Meanwhile, about 10,000 Chinese youths will gather in Beijing in February to participate in the "Dragon at the Great Wall" project while the Hong Kong Arts Festival will run from February 11 to March 12.
Additionally, the Year of the Dragon on the Chinese Lunar Calendar will be celebrated with a Chinese New Year Millennium Parade on February 5.
Other activities include an exhibition of horsemanship by riders from the French Riding School, and capital projects such as the International Wetland Park, the Chinese Cuisine Training Institute, the Hong Kong Heritage Museum and the Hong Kong Museum of History.
End/Friday, December 10, 1999