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Hong Kong Flower Show opens today (with photos)

     The Hong Kong Flower Show 2009 opened at Victoria Park today (March 13) with more than 350,000 flowers on display.

     The show's theme flower is the Cosmos and its theme is "Blossoming Welcome for the EAG".  The 10-day show, which runs until March 22, features more than 60,000 pots of the theme flower.

     The flower show, an annual event organised by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD), is a major programme promoting horticultural activities as it provides an opportunity for local people and horticulture lovers from around the world to appreciate the beauty of flowers and share their experience about growing flowers.

     Officiating at today's opening ceremony were the Chief Executive's wife, Mrs Selina Tsang; the Permanent Secretary for Home Affairs, Mrs Carrie Yau; the Vice-President of East Asian Games Association, Mr Victor Hui; the Director of Leisure and Cultural Services, Mr Thomas Chow and the first runner-up of Miss Hong Kong 2008, Skye Chan.

     Speaking at the opening ceremony, Mr Chow said, "The year 2009 promises to be a very special year for Hong Kong.  This December, Hong Kong will be hosting the 5th East Asian Games.  We are using every opportunity to celebrate and promote the 2009 East Asian Games, and this year's Flower Show is but one of them.  We have specially chosen 'Blossoming Welcome for the EAG' as the theme for this year's Flower Show and, as you walk around you will see the beautiful flower arrangements featuring the logo and the EAG mascots, Ami and Dony.

     "The 2009 EAG will be the first large-scale multi-sports regional sporting event held in Hong Kong.  More than 3,000 elite athletes will be gathering here to compete for 281 gold medals in 23 events.  The numbers of gold medals and competition events are the highest in EAG's history.  

     "In the coming months, the publicity of the EAG will be gradually stepped up.  Other than the TV and radio publicity, you will be seeing more giant banners and lamp post buntings around the territory to enhance the EAG atmosphere in the community.  The major promotion events coming up include the 2nd Hong Kong Games in May, which are bound to stimulate public interest in sports, the 200-day countdown also in May as well as the 100-day countdown and Torch Relay in August.  All these will take place before the EAG reaches its climax on December 5 as the curtain of the Games is raised at Victoria Harbour," Mr Chow said.

     Around 200 organisations from 20 countries participate in the flower show. They are from the Mainland, Australia, Canada, Estonia, France, Germany, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, the Netherlands, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

     To wish the 2009 East Asian Games (EAG) success, the LCSD is presenting a colossal display planted with more than 40,000 flowers. The display's main feature is a globe decorated with blooming Kalanchoe and Impatien, rotating continuously. A water curtain beneath the globe enhances the animation of the display. Around the water curtain are some 30,000 multi-coloured Cosmos of more than 40 species expressing the city's warm welcome as the host of the East Asian Games.

     The Hong Kong 2009 East Asian Games mascots "Dony" and "Ami" will greet the public at the showground entrance on Sugar Street. The two mascots will introduce the EAG to visitors in an exhibition on the games at the showground. A six-metre by three-metre giant flower wall for the EAG made up of Golden Dewdrops, Kalanchoes, Pansies and Dusty Millers will also be erected.

     To commemorate the EAG, the "Hong Kong 2009 East Asian Games Heartwarming Stamps Souvenir Pack" was also launched for sale today at the EAG exhibition booth at the Flower Show. The stamps are also available at General Post Office in Central from today.

     Other main attractions of the show are: a mosaiculture display "Jungle Games" featuring "Dony" and "Ami" leading a league of lovely jungle athletes; a fun display on the park's lawn featuring oranges and lemons in the shape of a farmer and a giant pumpkin; and a spectacular sea of more than 15,000 tulips.

     Displays from the Mainland are equally spectacular. They include displays by the Beijing Municipal Administration Centre of Parks, Hangzhou Landscape and Cultural Relics Bureau, and Guangzhou Agricultural Bureau.

     Cosmos (Cosmos bipinnatus), also known as Shanghai Ju, is a herbaceous annual of the genus Cosmos in the Asteraceae family. Native to Mexico, the flower was introduced to Europe in the 18th century and has since been widely planted all over the world.

     The flowers of Cosmos come in an array of vibrant colours ranging from purple, carmine, pink to pure white, and bicolours such as white petals with coloured edges and red petals with white stripes. There are also rarely seen yellow flowers.

     A series of fringe activities will complement the 10-day flower show for the enjoyment of visitors. Activities include music and dance performances, floral art demonstrations, cooking demonstrations, green talks and fun games.

    Admission tickets will be available at the entrance to the showground at Victoria Park throughout the show period. Tickets are also available from now until March 22 at LCSD's District Leisure Services Offices and venues with Leisure Link services.

    Admission for adults is $14. Children aged between four and 14, students, senior citizens aged 60 or above and people with disabilities pay half price. Senior citizens and people with disabilities will have free admission on weekdays while adults in a group of 30 or more admitted at the same time will pay half price on weekdays.

     For enquiries, please call 2697 8030, fax to 2691 7264 or visit the LCSD website

Ends/Friday, March 13, 2009
Issued at HKT 18:35


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