Saturday night saw the lighting of Taiwan’s first Christmas tree on water by Taichung Mayor Lin Chia-lung (林佳龍) on the waterfront of his city’s Willow River (柳川).
The city this year moved its annual Christmas festival, which was previously held on the New City Hall Plaza, to the riverside.
A popular attraction in Taichung, the river was reopened on Christmas Eve last year after the completion of a renewal project.
Photo: Huang Chung-shan, Taipei Times
The Willow River used to be severely polluted with industrial waste, became a dirty ditch and was often criticized by local residents, Lin said.
After improvements by the city, the river has taken on a brand new look and become the city’s most popular check-in location on Facebook, Lin said.
The Christmas tree is 9m high, the city government said, adding that the tree’s design was based on the imagery of an overflowing river and incorporates images from the World Flora Exposition, which is to be held in Taichung next year.
The waterfront also features interactive art, including shadow play and 3D “flower seas.”
The lighting exhibition, which also opened on Saturday, uses LED lights to decorate the waterfront with different shapes — including a large gift box, tulips and roses — and a light-tunnel under a bridge.
The lighting exhibition will be on view until March 4, the city government said.
At the lighting ceremony, Lin also made two announcements.
Lin said the city has received funding from the central government for the second phase of the Willow River renewal project, which is to begin next year and would preserve the beauty of the waterfront.
Lin also said the renovation of the 800m Green River (綠川) is to be completed by February.
The rivers will make Taichung beautiful again and the old town area will shine like never before, Lin said.
A study published by online booking platform Expedia revealed searches for travel to Taipei have ballooned 2,786 percent following the lifting of COVID-19 pandemic travel restrictions due to the city being a “designation dupe” for Seoul. The TikTok trend for duping — referring to substituting a designation for a more inexpensive alternative — helped propel interest in Taipei, it said in a consumer survey titled “Unpack ‘24,” which was conducted from September to October in 14 countries. Location dupes are “every bit as delightful as the tried-and-true places travelers love,” Expedia trend tracker Melanie Fish said of the year’s popular alternatives, which
SAFETY IN REGULATION: The proposal states that Chiayi should assess whether it is viable to establish such a district and draft rules to protect clients and sex workers The Chiayi City Council passed a motion yesterday to assess the viability of establishing a regulated red-light district. The council yesterday held its last session of the year, at which its fiscal 2024 budget was approved, along with 61 other proposals. The proposal to assess the viability of establishing a red-light district was put forward by independent Chiayi City Councilor Molly Yen (顏色不分藍綠支持性專區顏色田慎節). The proposal cited 2011 amendments to the Social Order Maintenance Act (社會秩序維護法), which stipulate that city and county governments can pass autonomous regulations on the sex trade to manage the industry and guarantee industry workers’ rights. A ban on the
A small-scale protest that called on the government to cancel its plan to welcome Indian migrant workers in a bid to tackle Taiwan’s labor shortage was held in Taipei yesterday. During the protest, comprised of a few dozen people staged in front of the Presidential Office on Ketagalan Boulevard, the protest’s chief initiator, a woman identified only as “Yuna” said they wanted the central government to reconsider allowing migrant workers from India to enter Taiwan. Most people in Taiwan had little knowledge about the potential plan to allow in Indian migrant workers until a report in the media last month, she
STABILITY AND CHANGE: Flagging in recent polls, Ko this week pledged to maintain President Tsai’s foreign policy, with an emphasis on improving China relations Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) Chairman and presidential candidate Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) yesterday reiterated that he is “deep-green at heart” in response to accusations that he is pivoting his campaign to align closer with the ideology of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) in the face of flagging polls. Ko made the remark at an agricultural policy conference in Taipei, repeating his comments from an interview with CTS News a day earlier. Ko told the CTS host that he would continue to pursue President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) national defense and foreign policy in general, but with an emphasis on establishing a rapport with