It’s year-end fun time at Pesta Pulau Pinang


Fun for all: Visitors enjoying themselves at Pesta Pulau Pinang’s Euro Fun Park in Sungai Nibong, Penang. — LIM BENG TATT/The Star

GEORGE TOWN: Pesta Pulau Pinang is back with a bang with at least 600,000 visitors expected to visit the month-long carnival which boasts of more family-oriented activities this year.

Its master plan committee general manager Refnaldy Azuardi said every night there would be exciting and fun-filled activities for the whole family from now until Dec 31.

“We will have activities like Battle of the Bands, a cat show, a Pesta Got Talent competition and a keris exhibition cum competition.

“The highlights will be the five-night Penang International Boxing Tournament from Dec 11 (7.30pm to 11pm), Mr Pesta on Dec 24, eSport @ Pesta (Dec 26 and 27) and Muay Thai Challenger (Dec 30 and 31).

“There will be live bands and singers gracing the main stage nightly, and among those performing this year are Tomok (Dec 16), Ameng Spring (Dec 21), Rusty Blade (Dec 23), Awie (Dec 26) and rock group May (Dec 29),” he said, adding that in the previous year, they recorded an attendance of over 500,000 visitors.

Refnaldy highlighted that the committee wanted this year’s Pesta Pulau Pinang to be different from other years by having more activities and fewer stalls selling clothes and other goods.

“Last year, we had 150 such stalls and they have been reduced to 105. These stall operators were invited to participate rather than having to apply through the committee.

“This time around, there’s also a better variety of international cuisine such as Korean sandwiches, mac and cheese prepared inside a giant block of cheese, pizzas and burgers, to complement our local dishes like char koay teow and soup noodles.

“I have also advised traders to keep their prices in check. Prices of raw materials may have increased but they should not profiteer,” he said.

Refnaldy revealed that all the lighting had been upgraded to enhance the overall experience and also to provide visitors with a better photo opportunity.

He also urged visitors to mask up especially on weekends amid the spike in Covid-19 cases over the past few weeks.

“We are also providing free daily bus rides at 30-minute intervals from 6pm to the pesta site from Queensbay Mall and vice versa from Dec 22 to 31 to minimise traffic congestion in the area,” he added.

Visitors are advised to park their vehicles at the designated carpark that charges RM5, and to avoid the illegal jaga kereta touts who can charge up to RM10 or even more.

Thrills can be found at the Euro Fun Park featuring aptly-named rides such as Vortex, Euro Wheel, Sky Rider and Daytona.

Park manager Evelyn Tan said there are a total of 17 rides available with Euro Wheel being the most popular.

Pesta Pulau Pinang is open from 5.30pm to midnight during the school holidays from Dec 18.

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

The first pesta was held in 1970 at the Esplanade.

It was the brainchild of the former chief minister, the late Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu.

According to Penang Institute’s periodical Penang Monthly, Dr Lim wanted to boost the retail economy during a time of high unemployment.

It was a huge success, leading the state to build the site in Sungai Nibong where the event has been held yearly since 1974 except during the pandemic.

For details about the activities, check out the Pesta Pulau Pinang Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/PestaPulauPinang.

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