VISITORS can expect a full-day spectacle with new activities at the Penang Yosakoi 2018 to be held at the Esplanade tomorrow.
Held for the fifth time, the Japanese festival promises new things to see and do this year.
There will be a skateboarding workshop and competition, mochitsuki (rice cake- making), wall-climbing and a softball workshop.
The highlight of the event will again be the Yosakoi (‘come on over tonight’ in Japanese) Parade.
Thirteen teams from schools around Malaysia will vie for the best costume and best choreography awards by showcasing different dance styles during the parade.
The schools are from Penang, Johor, Kuala Lumpur, Pahang, Perlis, Perak and Kedah.
Event organising chairman Emi Yamazaki said Jalan Padang Kota Lama would be a hive of activity showcasing the festive elements of Japanese culture.
She said the event would be held from 9am to 10pm along Lebuh Light and at the Esplanade with the festivities kicking in full force at 4pm.
“The event was introduced to help the victims of the Tohoku earthquake in 2011,” she told a press conference at the Penang Island City Council information centre at Penang City Park on Tuesday.
“As the fundraising event was a success, we decided to hold the event annually to expose Penangites and others to Japanese culture as well as let them showcase their talent.
“This year, we will be bringing in sports elements, such as a skateboarding contest and workshop as well as wall climbing and softball.
“The Tokyo Olympics in 2020 will feature skateboarding and softball.
“For the first time, there will be mochitsuki, which is the art of making rice cakes. In Japan, the delicacy is usually made once a year during New Year.
“The skateboard competition will see participants from countries like Japan, Singapore, Indonesia and Thailand apart from Malaysia.
“There will be a free skateboard workshop as well as a free photography workshop by Canon to teach aspiring shutterbugs how to capture skateboarders in action,” she said.
Yamazaki, who is also the Pink Hibiscus Club founder and president, said food trucks and stalls offering a wide variety of fare would cater to the hungry crowd.
She said that to mark International Women’s Day, a free Zumba session would be held with participants encouraged to wear purple.
Jalan Padang Kota Lama will be partly closed from 9am today and completely closed from 5pm.
Lebuh Duke will also be closed from 11pm today.
During the event tomorrow, Lebuh Light will be closed from 5pm to 10pm while Lebuh King and Lebuh Penang will be closed from 5pm for incoming traffic (outgoing traffic permitted).
Jalan Tun Syed Barakbah will remain open throughout the event.
Penang Yosakoi is co-organised by Pink Hibiscus Club, the Penang Island City Council and is endorsed by the state government and the Education Ministry.
Admission is free. For further details, contact Yamazaki at 012-3909083.