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Hong Kong Flower Show opens today

The 2004 Hong Kong Flower Show opened at Victoria Park today, with more than 180 organisations taking part and over 300,000 flowers on display.

The show will run until March 14. The theme of this year's show is "Pansy Fantasia" and the theme flower is the pansy. The 10-day show features over 120,000 pots of pansies.

The Director of Leisure and Culture Services, Ms Anissa Wong, said at the opening ceremony that the department would continue to promote "greening culture" at various levels of the community and to make "green activities" a regular part of our lives.

Ms Wong said that with the collaboration of government departments, commercial and industrial sectors, related organisations and the community, Hong Kong had become a greener city. People could now enjoy a green environment at roadsides, under bridges and even around building blocks.

She pointed out that the Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD) was responsible for greening urban areas, and it had made efforts to promote green culture. These included the launch of a series of educational programmes for school children each year and the recently launched Community Garden Programme, which gives the public the opportunity to learn and practise gardening skills, making such environmentally friendly activities more popular.

Ms Wong noted that the flower show, organised by the LCSD every year, was a major event in the promotion of horticultural activities as it provided an opportunity for hundreds of thousands of visitors to learn more about growing and appreciating flowers. This year's show, with the enthusiastic support of various sectors, is the largest yet.

Other members of the officiating party are the Permanent Secretary for Home Affairs, Ms Shelley Lee; the Chairperson of Hong Kong Tourism Board, the Hon Mrs Selina Chow; the Director of the Urban Construction Department of the Ministry of Construction in Beijing, Mr Li Dong-xu; Miss Hong Kong 2003, Miss Mandy Cho; and Professor Hu Shiu-ying, the Official Adviser to the flower show.

To encourage participation from all walks of life, a variety of fringe activities and programmes will be organised. These include exhibits, photo and student drawing competitions, floral art demonstrations, plant maintenance workshops, and music and cultural performances. At the weekends, family fun games will be held and a children's play area, the "Happy Wonderland", will be set up.

Visitors to the flower show can also take in an exhibition of Chinese landscape photos across the road at the exhibition gallery of the Hong Kong Central Library during the show period. Admission is free.

The Hong Kong Flower Show opens from 9am to 9pm from today to March 14. Admission for adults is $14 and half price for children and students. Senior citizens and people with disabilities will have free admission on weekdays and half-price concession on Saturdays and Sundays. Groups of 30 or more adults pay half price on weekdays.

Tickets are on sale at LCSD's Leisure Link outlets, or at the entrance to the flower show during opening hours.

For enquiries, call 2723 6232, or visit the LCSD website .

Ends/Friday, March 5, 2004
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