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Measures in place for Bun Scrambling Competition

Detailed measures are in place which will allow people to watch this year's Bun Scrambling Competition on Cheung Chau Island in an orderly manner. The competition will be held at the soccer pitch of Pak Tai Temple Playground, Cheung Chau, at midnight on May 24 (Thursday).

The event, jointly organised by the Hong Kong Cheung Chau Bun Festival Committee and the Leisure and Cultural Services Department, is expected to attract a large crowd.

The Hong Kong Cheung Chau Bun Festival Committee, Leisure and Cultural Services Department, Islands District Council, Islands District Office, Police and Transport Department announced at a joint press conference today (May 16) details of the measures.

The Leisure and Cultural Services Department's Chief Leisure Manager (New Territories West), Miss Margrit Li, said the opening ceremony of the Bun Scrambling Competition would begin at 11.30pm on May 24 (Thursday), while the competition would start at midnight.

"Due to limited space, the soccer pitch of Pak Tai Temple Playground will accommodate 1,500 spectators. The venue will be divided into five zones, with one zone designated for invited guests and the other four for the public," Miss Li said.

"It is anticipated there will be quite a number of people waiting to view the contest, so we have arranged to open the Cheung Chau Sports Centre, with a screen wall measuring five metres by four metres to broadcast the opening ceremony and the competition live. The sports centre can accommodate about 1,000 spectators."

People who want to watch the competition at the soccer pitch or Cheung Chau Sports Centre should queue up at Pak She First Lane (next to the Cheung Chau Fire Station), following Ping Chong Road. Admission tickets will be distributed at Pak She First Lane starting from 9.45pm. Each person will be given one ticket while supplies last.

The Police and staff of the organisers will be on hand for crowd management. When spectators have got their tickets they should wait in the queue. Admission will start at 10.30pm and people should enter in sequence from Zone 1 to Zone 4 in an orderly manner.

Once the soccer pitch is full, the organisers and the Police will direct ticket holders to Cheung Chau Sports Centre.

Meanwhile, TVB Jade, now Business News Channel, 24-hour ATV News Channel, Cable TV News Channel and Live News Channel will broadcast the event live, allowing people to enjoy the spectacle at home.

Notices will be put up from 6pm at Central Ferry Pier No. 5 informing people of the schedule of the event. Notice and enquiry counters will be put up at Cheung Chau Pier and the entrance of the Pak Tai Temple Playground.

Those who wanted to see the contest should pay attention to the announcements, Miss Li said.

The Chairman of Hong Kong Cheung Chau Bun Festival Committee, Mr Yung Chi-ming, and Islands District Council Member Ms Lee Kwai-chun said many tourists and Cheung Chau local residents would be keen to watch the competition.

"Learning from experience and getting the feedback from participants in the past two contests, the organising parties noted that genuine buns will be easily spoilt and become slippery in rainy and humid weather. This will endanger the participants and affect their performance," Mr Yung said. "It has been agreed that replica buns will replace the buns this year. As in previous years, three bun towers studded with genuine buns will be erected at the basketball court in Pak Tai Temple for worshipping deities during the Bun Festival. People can continue to collect these buns after the festival as they did before. The arrangements both ensure the safety of the competition and maintain the tradition."

The Assistant Divisional Commander (Cheung Chau), Mr Michael Lai said adequate Police manpower would be deployed for crowd management.

The Senior Transport Officer (Planning/Ferry), Miss Chan Siu-mui, said that with many people leaving after the event, First Ferry would arrange an additional ordinary ferry trip from Cheung Chau to Central at 1.15am on May 25. Extra ferry trips will be arranged when necessary.

From about 12.30am to 3am on May 25, the bus company will operate a special cross harbour bus route 104R, running from Central Ferry Pier No 5 to Mong Kok, and will re-route the following overnight bus services to operate via the Central Ferry Pier No. 5 for passengers' convenience:

- N8X (from Macau Ferry Terminal, Central to Siu Sai Wan)
- N90 (from Macau Ferry Terminal, Central to South Horizons)
- N182 (from Macau Ferry Terminal, Central to Kwong Yuen, Sha Tin)
- N619 (from Macau Ferry Terminal, Central to Shun Lee, Kwun Tong)

The Transport Department will activate the Emergency Transport Co-ordination Centre on May 24 and 25 to closely monitor the demand for public transport, and will keep in close contact with the ferry and bus companies to make necessary transport arrangements.

The Assistant District Officer (Islands District), Mr Kennon Tam, said the manpower of St. John Hospital would be increased and additional manpower of the Government Flying Service would be on standby at Chek Lap Kok to provide necessary rescue or transport by helicopter.

Miss Li appealed those people who wanted to see the competition in Cheung Chau to co-operate and follow instructions given by the Police and working staff of the organisers. To watch this traditional activity, they should be patient in crowded places.

Ends/Wednesday, May 16, 2007
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