Kota Kinabalu: The Chinese New Year Carnival will be held from 10 – 12 February 2018 at Padang Merdeka, Kota Kinabalu.

The carnival is jointly organised by Kota Kinabalu City Hall and the Federation of Chinese Associations Sabah (FCAS) and sponsored by the State Government and contributions by many donors.

The organising committee held a meeting recently chaired by the Mayor of Kota Kinabalu City, Datuk Yeo Boon Hai with the presence of FCAS President, Tan Sri Datuk Seri Panglima (Dr) T. C. Goh.

Also present was the Assistant Minister to the Chief Minister cum Minister in-charge of City Hall, YB Datuk Ir. Edward Yong Oui Fah.

According to Datuk Edward, the organising committee will be inviting the Right Honourable Chief Minister to launch the carnival on Feb 10.

Datuk Edward said among the highlights of the programme are the Chinese traditional drum beating (more than 100 drums), lion dances, 'Lau Sang', cultural and singing performances, choir and others.

He said that more schools will be involved this time to encourage more youngsters to participate in the carnival. Fireworks are expected to be set off on the opening night.

There will also be a ceremony for senior citizens at Padang Merdeka on Feb 11 which is expected to be launched by the Chief Minister's wife, Puan Sri Datin Seri Panglima Datuk Hajah Faridah Hj. Tussin. A Cheongsam beauty pageant, singing and talent contests will be organised on the second night also, he said.

The closing ceremony is expected to be graced by the Minister with Special Tasks, YB Datuk Seri Panglima Teo Chee Kang, which will also see the finale of the Cheongsam, dancing, singing and talent competitions and a fireworks display.

Visitors will also have the chance to shop for goods from the 200 stalls that will be set up throughout the carnival. The stalls will be opened at 6 pm selling goods in conjunction with the Chinese New Year celebration.

For the first time this year, the stalls in Padang Merdeka will be allowed to continue their business for another two days up to Feb 14 which will coincide with the yearly Chinese New Year night market.

Datuk Edward said that this will give more business opportunities to small traders and hawkers and will be an added attraction for tourists visiting the city during the festive season.