Five decades of fiesta fun

  • Metro News
  • Friday, 06 Dec 2019

Visitors checking out the games and entertainment booths at Pesta Pulau Pinang being held in Sungai Nibong, Penang. — Photos: MUSTAFA AHMAD/The Star

FOR a festival that has been going on annually for almost 50 years, Pesta Pulau Pinang by the state Finance Department is still loud and merry.

The annual festival is back with over 100 stalls offering bargains and 15 amusement rides for thrills.

Rows of booths line the perimeter of the venue offering branded bags, clothing, watches, shoes, perfumes, toys, decorative items, carpets and a myriad of household products at prices far below the usual retail prices.

A local band performing on stage at the pesta site.A local band performing on stage at the pesta site.

Food trucks selling various snacks and a food court for larger meals are set up at a corner for visitors to refuel after the shopping and games.

Scattered around are dozens of ‘mini parks’ decorated with colourful LED lights and recyclable items for visitors to pose for pictures with, as well as educational booths set up by various government agencies to educate the public.

The amusement rides in the Euro Fun Park feature rides such as Vortex, Euro Wheel, Sky Rider, Daytona and a Roller Coaster, with each ride costing between RM8 to RM24 per person.

There are also various games, competitions and performances by local acts throughout the fiesta that ends on Dec 31.

A singing competition with over RM3,000 cash prizes to be won will be held on Dec 19. The finals are on Dec 26.

Children seeking a physical challenge can try out a small obstacle course near the entrance.

Pesta Pulau Pinang, organised by the state Finance Department, is open from 6pm to 11pm daily until Dec 31.

The first Pesta was held in 1970 at the Esplanade, when Penang had just lost it free port and duty free status in 1969. It was the brainchild of former chief minister, the late Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu.

Horse riding is a hit among younger children while the many (above) amusement rides are attracting children and youths.Horse riding is a hit among younger children while the many (above) amusement rides are attracting children and youths.

According to historical records by state government think-tank Penang Institute published in its periodical ‘Penang Monthly’, Dr Lim wanted to boost the retail economy during a time of high unemployment and when Penang was not yet an industrial hub.

The first Pesta was a huge success, leading the state to commit to building the Pesta Site in Sungai Nibong, where the event has been held every year since 1974.

A few thousand businesses would bid for the 250-odd lots in Pesta to delight the half a million visitors annually.

Tickets this year are priced at RM5 for adults and RM1 for children aged six to 12.

For more details, call 04-26203505/ 04-6585202 or check out the Pesta Pulau Pinang Facebook.

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