PHUKET: The 16th annual Phuket Old Town Festival begins today and will continue through Saturday to celebrate Phuket’s unique culture and traditions.
The festival will get underway from 4pm, on four roads in the heart of Phuket Town: Thalang Road, Soi Rommanee, Krabi Road and Phang Nga Road.
“This is the 16th year we have held the festival. We always hope that it helps to conserve our cultural heritage and traditional Phuket lifestyle, and promote the preservation of our environment, including the local architecture,” Phuket City Mayor Somjai Suwansupana told the Phuket Gazette.
Throughout the three-day festival, which is expected to generate 200 million baht in revenue, performances will be staged throughout the town and stalls selling local fare and other items will be set up in the area.
Among the events will be a concert by Thai singer Koh Kai from The Voice, Thai dance performances, a parade and much more, said Ms Somjai.
The festival will kick off at 4pm today with a parade to honor HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn in celebration of her 60th birthday on April 2.
The parade starts at the intersection of Phang Nga Road and Soi Kanit Hongsyok. After heading west toward Old Town, the procession will turn left onto Montri Road, and continue to Surin Circle (the “Clocktower Circle”), where it will turn right onto Phuket Road and then left onto Rassada Road.
At Suriyadej Circle, the parade will turn right onto Yaowarat Road, then turn right again onto Thalang Road and head towards Queen Sirikit Park, where it will conclude.
Fom 10:30pm to midnight, a traditional Hokkien Chinese god worshipping ceremony will take place in front of the dragon statue, also known as the “Hai Leng Ong” sea dragon, in Queen Sirikit Park.
Tomorrow, from 7pm until midnight, cultural performances from the Shanxi province and Ningxia region in China, and by students from Phuket City Municipality schools, will take place on the main stage on Dibuk Road.
On Saturday, from 10pm until midnight, a Shaolin martial arts demonstration and a Chinese mask change performance will take place on the main stage.
During the festival, locals and tourists alike are urged to visit the statue of Guan Yin, the Goddess of Mercy, which can be found in Queen Sirikit Park, for good fortune.
— Voratuss Intasee