White Christmas for shoppers

Shoppers taking snapshots with the Australian cast of the live musical under a shower of white flakes during the meet-and-greet session at Queensbay Mall in Penang.

ECHOES of excitement filled Queensbay Mall in Penang as falling ‘snow’ turned it into an enchanting Christmas wonderland that captivated shoppers, old and young alike.

Some reached out with their hands to feel the flakes that descended on the central atrium while others found it a magical moment to freeze in photographs.

And with the venue dressed up to resemble a city square in the Dutch capital Amsterdam complete with classical architecture, cobblestone flooring and glowing conifers, it was a picture-postcard sight.

The mall’s centre manager Selina Ng said they wanted to transport visitors into a novel environment that celebrates the joy and wonder of the festive season.

“We normally relate Christmas with snow, and this has become a tradition just like putting up the Christmas tree, hanging stockings or wrapping gifts,” she reasoned.

Earlier, the crowd saw how close the world got to spending the holiday season without its most iconic character, in the live musical titled ‘The Search of Santa’.

As the bearded man in red was down with a strange illness, his crew frantically searched for a replacement and encountered a motley band of hopefuls.

One auditioned in an unorthodox blue suit, while another seemed more like Elvis. It seemed hopeless when a third turned up with short sleeves and board shorts.

But all was well once again when the real Santa Claus came back just in time for Christmas, greeting the cheering crowd with his signature “Ho! Ho! Ho!” and giving out candies.

The musical’s Australian cast soon made their way to the floor for a brief meet-and- greet with the crowd, waving in all directions and obliging photo requests.

The premiere on Tuesday, which also doubled up as the mall’s annual Media Appreciation Night, was attended by around 100 personnel from print, online and broadcast media.

They were feted to a buffet dinner at Dome Cafe, and enjoyed games of Bingo. Fortune smiled on 20 of them who won amazing prizes in a lucky draw.

Ng also urged everyone to come and enjoy the live musical and unique snow experience, which will be on daily until Christmas Day, except on Mondays.

The show is on at 1pm and 7pm, followed by snowfall at 1.30pm and 7.30pm. In between will be the meet-and-greet sessions with the cast at 4.30pm.

Ng added that the mall’s Amsterdam-themed decorations were put up in conjunction with their 1Malaysia Year End Sale 2015 IAMSTERDAM contest running until Jan 3.

Shoppers who spend RM150 and above in a single receipt will be in the running to win a 5D/4N vacation to the beautiful Dutch capital for two persons, inclusive of return flights, accommodation, daily breakfast and non-guided tour excursions.

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