Bun Scrambling Competition to be held in Cheung Chau next Wednesday (with photo)

     The 2017 Bun Carnival will stage its grand finale, the Bun Scrambling Competition, at the soccer pitch of Pak Tai Temple Playground in Cheung Chau, on the night of May 3 (Wednesday). A total of 12 finalists will vie for the championships in the men's and women's teams.

     The Bun Scrambling Competition is one of the highlights of the Cheung Chau Jiao Festival and a well-known traditional festive event in Hong Kong.

     Trophies will be awarded to the champion, first runner-up and second runner-up in the men's team event, the champion in the women's team event and the winning teams in the Bun Scrambling Invitation Relay. The "Full Pockets of Lucky Buns" award will continue to be presented this year to commend the participant who grabs the most buns.

     To make the event more appealing, a Grand Award has been introduced since last year under which any male or female athlete who has won first prize three times in the Bun Scrambling Competition will win the Grand Award and become the "King of Kings" or the "Queen of Queens" of the competition.

     The Bun Scrambling Competition, jointly organised by the Hong Kong Cheung Chau Bun Festival Committee and the Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD), will start at midnight according to tradition. An opening ceremony to launch the competition will be held at 11.30pm on May 3. The organisers, together with the Islands District Council, the Islands District Office, the Police and the Transport Department, will implement various crowd management measures to maintain public order on the night. Detailed arrangements were announced at a joint press conference today (April 25).

     The Chairman of the Hong Kong Cheung Chau Bun Festival Committee, Mr Yung Chi-ming; the Chief Leisure Manager (New Territories West) of the LCSD, Ms Dilys Cheung; Assistant District Officer (Islands), Mr Joe Chow; the Divisional Commander (Cheung Chau) of the Hong Kong Police Force, Ms Tsang Kit-ying; the Acting Chief Transport Officer of the Transport Department, Ms Fiona Chu and member of the Islands District Council, Ms Lee Kwai-chun, attended the press conference.

     Ms Cheung said that four spectator zones will be set up on the night at the soccer pitch of Pak Tai Temple Playground, which can accommodate about 1 650 people. Members of the public are requested to queue up at Pak She First Lane, next to Cheung Chau Fire Station, and along Ping Chong Road to get admission tickets. The distribution of tickets will start at 10pm. Each person can obtain one ticket on a first-come, first-served basis while tickets last. Spectators who have got their tickets should follow instructions from the Police and staff of the organisers for admission, which is expected to start from 10.30pm. Spectators should enter Zone 1 to Zone 4 in sequence.

     Notices will be put up at Central Pier 5 informing the public of the schedule and arrangements of the event. Notices and enquiry counters will also be set up at Cheung Chau Ferry Pier and at the entrance of Pak Tai Temple Playground, where staff will be on hand to address public enquiries.

     She added that the organisers will monitor the weather conditions on the night. The Bun Scrambling Competition will be cancelled in the case of inclement weather, including thunderstorms, to ensure public safety. As stipulated in the prospectus, awards would then be determined based on the results of the selection contest and a prize presentation would be held immediately. Since the Bun Scrambling Competition is traditionally held at a specified period during the Cheung Chau Jiao Festival, no replay of the competition would be organised in such circumstances.

     Ms Tsang said police officers would be deployed for crowd management. She called on the public to co-operate, follow instructions from the Police and staff of the organisers, and be patient in crowded places.

     On the arrangements for public transport services, Ms Chu said the Transport Department would closely monitor passenger demand for public transport services and would stay in close contact with ferry and bus companies to make necessary and appropriate arrangements to meet demand.

     She added that as many visitors will be leaving Cheung Chau after the event, New World First Ferry will arrange a special sailing from Cheung Chau to Central at 1.15am on May 4.

     The bus companies will operate a special cross-harbour bus route, 104R, running from Central Pier 5 to Mong Kok from about 1.10am to 2.30am on May 4. Overnight bus services departing from the Hong Kong-Macau Ferry Terminal in Central will be diverted via Central Pier 5 from midnight to about 2.50am for passengers' convenience. These routes are N8X (to Siu Sai Wan), N90 (to South Horizons), N182 (to Kwong Yuen, Sha Tin), N619 (to Shun Lee, Kwun Tong) and N368 (to Yuen Long West).

     Speaking on rescue operations during any possible emergencies, Mr Chow said St John Hospital would make appropriate manpower arrangements on the day for the provision of accident and emergency services, while the Hong Kong East Cluster of the Hospital Authority will render assistance when necessary. The Government Flying Service will also deploy helicopters and strengthen its manpower.

     Jointly organised by the Hong Kong Cheung Chau Bun Festival Committee and the LCSD, the 2017 Bun Carnival is presented with the support of the Cheung Chau Wai Chiu County Association Limited, the Cheung Chau Rural Committee, the Islands District Office, the China Hong Kong Mountaineering and Climbing Union, and the Islands District Council.

     For enquiries on the above activities, please contact the Islands District Leisure Services Office of the LCSD on 2852 3220, or visit the department's website at www.lcsd.gov.hk.

Ends/Tuesday, April 25, 2017
Issued at HKT 12:30