Sun, Mar 04, 2018 - Page 3 News List

Thousands attend Taipei parade

RED LEVEL:The air quality was unhealthy enough to prompt the Taipei Department of Health to issue free masks to people celebrating the end of the Lantern Festival

By Lee I-chia  /  Staff reporter

A celebration parade for the 2018 Taipei Lantern Festival, with shows from 55 groups comprising more than 1,800 performers, was held along the city’s Zhonghua Road Sec 1 (中華路一段) yesterday evening.

As the city’s lantern festival, that began on Feb. 24 along a section of Zhonghua Road between the North Gate (北門) and the Ximen MRT Station, comes to an end today, a parade wrapping up the nine-day event drew crowds out to enjoy the festivities.

The parade began at 5:20pm from the intersection of Zhonghua Road and Wenchang Street (武昌街), moving along Zhonghua Road to the main stage at the plaza outside Ximen MRT Station and ended at the Taipei Cinema Park (電影主題公園).

Five themes were featured in the parade, which included circus performers and performance artists, floats decorated with visual arts and stage designs, people wearing traditional costumes, and Taiwanese athletes who participated in last year’s Taipei Summer Universiade.

One-hundred-and-one dogs and their owners also paraded to celebrate the Year of the Dog.

Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) joined the parade at about 6pm and played Frisbee with one of the dogs in the parade, who dropped the Frisbee several times.

The Environmental Protection Administration’s air quality monitoring system yesterday indicated a “red level” (unhealthy for all groups) for most areas in western Taiwan.

Consequently, the Taipei Department of Health provided free surgical masks to people at the event and a medical equipment manufacturer donated another 10,000 masks.

The parade showcased outstanding professional arts performances, design, cultural diversity and Taiwan’s Universiade athletes, Ko said, adding that he wishes the city’s residents good luck for the new year.

The parade ended at about 8:20pm, and Ko and the parade’s hosts asked people to hold their smartphone flashlights up near the North Gate for an aerial shot of the thousands of lights in the formation of a dog.

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