ONE word best summed up the annual Penang Chingay, Lion and Dragon Dance Parade — awesome!
Loud cheers could be heard every time the performers from the 108-year-old Penang Chingay Association (PCA) carried out their daredevil acts using the 10m-tall poles on different parts of their bodies in George Town on Sunday.
Eight-year-old Adrian Aw Yang Ke Ding hogged the limelight when he balanced the pole on his forehead for a solid one-minute.
His father Aw Yang Sun Leong, 39, even carried Adrian while he was still balancing the flag pole on his forehead at the Esplanade.
“He started showing interest in the stunt when he was only four.
“Since then, he has taken part in various events in Kedah, Perlis and Kuala Lumpur,” said the proud father.
Earlier, Adrian also hoisted the Star Media Group’s giant flag on his forehead in front of The Star Pitt St. building in Jalan Masjid Kapitan Keling.
Among the thousands who filled the streets to witness the parade was Marina Schutzinjer, 23, from Austria.
“This is awesome. I don’t even know how they do it as the flag poles look really heavy. I’m amazed,” she exclaimed.
B. Nyanaprakasam, 40, brought his wife L. Hemalatha, 38, and their two young kids to the annual event.
“I want to expose my daughters to different cultures, and they seem to enjoy them a lot,” said Nyanaprakasam from Sungai Ara.
Some 2,000 performers from 27 local teams comprising five chingay troupes, 15 lion dance troupes, five dragon dance troupes, an Indian dance troupe and a school band from SJK (C) Kheng Tean took part in the parade which started in Jalan Gurdwara at 7.30pm.
The parade also passed by Penang Road, Jalan Dr Lim Chwee Leong, Lebuh Carnarvon, Jalan Masjid Kapitan Keling and Lebuh Light before ending at the Esplanade.
Among the sponsors for the giant flags were Ivory Properties Group Bhd, Berjaya Sports Toto Bhd, Carlsberg Brewery Malaysia Bhd, the Penang Chinese Town Hall and RedBull.
There were also colourful Christmas-themed floats with Santa Claus dishing out candies to the crowd.
Also present at the event was state Tourism Development Committee chairman Danny Law Heng Kiang.