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March
Hong Kong Flower Show opens today
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The Hong Kong Flower Show 2008 opened at Victoria Park today (March 14), with more than 200 organisations taking part and more than 350,000 flowers on display.

The show's theme flower is the Gerbera and its theme is "Vibrant Blossoms for Beijing Olympics". The 11-day show, which runs until March 24, features more than 60,000 pots of the theme flower.

The flower show, an annual event organised by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD), is a major programme promoting horticultural activities as it provides an opportunity for local people and horticulture lovers from around the world to appreciate the beauty of flowers and share their experience about growing flowers.

Officiating at today's opening ceremony were the Chief Executive's wife, Mrs Selina Tsang, the Permanent Secretary for Home Affairs, Mrs Carrie Yau, Chairman of Legco Panel on Home Affairs Miss Choy So-yuk, the Director of Leisure and Cultural Services, Mr Thomas Chow, and Miss Hong Kong 2007 Cheung Ka-yi.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, Mr Chow said that the theme of the flower show tied in with and supported the 29th Olympic Games to be held in Beijing in August.

He said that in addition to be an Olympic City co-hosting the Olympic Equestrian Events, it was also a great honour for all in Hong Kong to be a participating city of the Olympic Torch Relay.

"In 10 more days, on the 24th of this month, the Olympic Flame will start its 137,000-kilometre journey across five continents. The Olympic torch will be relayed through 19 overseas cities before it reaches Hong Kong, the first stop of its journey in China, on April 30 for the run on May 2. LCSD and the other relevant government departments and community organisations are now moving full steam ahead with preparing for this big event.

"We are getting ourselves well prepared for fulfilling our duty to protect the Olympic Flame, which is the sacred and solemn symbol of the Olympic spirit. We look forward to joining with all in Hong Kong to ensure the successful organisation of the Hong Kong leg of the Torch Relay," Mr Chow said.

More than 200 organisations from 21 countries participate in the flower show. They are from the Mainland, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Estonia, the Philippines, Russia, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, the United States of America, among which Canada, New Zealand, Estonia, the United States of America and Russia are participating for the first time.

To celebrate the Beijing Olympics in August, the Leisure and Cultural Services Department specially presents a grand floral display "Vibrant Blossoms for Beijing Olympics" at the show. It is made with more than 30,000 flowers. The display is complemented with floral sculptures of the five Fuwa, mascots of the Beijing Olympics, and the logos for the Beijing 2008 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Each Fuwa is approximately two metres tall and is created from thousands of colourful fresh Impatiens, Kalanchoes, Cigar Flowers and Pansies. Located in the centre of the floral display is a circular water curtain formed by water jets against the background of the Five Olympic Rings also made with flowers. Surrounding the area is a vast flowerbed decorated with more than 20,000 stems of Gerbera, the theme flower of the show.

At the 2008 Hong Kong Flower Show, the newly-born East Asian Games (EAG) mascots "Dony" and "Ami" are meeting the public. A six-metre by three-metre giant flower wall with pattern of the EAG emblem "Firework" and slogan "Be the Legend" is displayed for visitors to capture magic moment with the mascots. The flower wall is made up of blossom of Golden Dewdrops, Kalanchoes, Dusty Miller and Impatiens (New Guinea Groep).

Other key attractions of the show are: the mosaiculture display "Equestrian Joy" featuring Fuwa Huanhuan and Fu Niu (lucky bull) Lele, the respective mascots of the Beijing Olympic and Paralympic Games, and eight horses on the lawn; an exhibition on the Beijing 2008 Olympic Torch Relay; an exhibition on the hosting of the Olympic equestrian events in Hong Kong.

The displays from the Mainland are equally attractive and spectacular. They include displays by Beijing Municipal Administration Centre of Parks, Shenzhen Urban Management Bureau and Zhongshan City Xiaolan Town People's Government.

More than 18,000 tulips form a spectacular sea of flowers, adding colour and fragrance to the showground.

A series of fringe activities will add fun to the 11-day flower show for the enjoyment of visitors. Activities include music and dance performances, floral art demonstrations, cooking demonstrations, green talks and fun games.

Admission tickets will be available at the entrance to the showground at Victoria Park throughout the show period. They are also available now until March 24 at LCSD's District Leisure Services Offices, and venues with Leisure Link services.

Admission for adults is $14. Children aged four to 14, students, senior citizens aged 60 or over and persons with a disability pay half price. Senior citizens and persons with a disability have free admission on weekdays (except public holidays) and adults in a group of 30 or more admitted at the same time will pay half price on weekdays (except public holidays).

For enquiries, please call 2697 8030, fax 2691 7264 or visit the LCSD website at http://www.lcsd.gov.hk

Ends/Friday, March 14, 2008
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