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AS a co-host of the first Olympic Games to be held on Chinese soil, Hong Kong is committed to staging the best-ever 2008 Olympic and Paralympic Equestrian Events (the Events). On this front, the Home Affairs Bureau (HAB) has launched a series of city dress-up programmes, community involvement activities and publicity campaigns in collaboration with concerned organisations to highlight the city’s preparedness and pride.

Besides receiving the warmest welcome and getting to see our wonderful city, guests, athletes and visitors will also experience the festive atmosphere and Olympic spirit of solidarity, fair play and friendship. HAB believes that the Events will further establish Hong Kong as a major events capital, as well as showcase to the world our successful implementation of “One Country, Two Systems”.

Ensuring that the whole community feels involved in the hosting of the Events is a major role of the Government. Through countdown events and territory-wide carnivals, HAB has encouraged all sectors of the community to participate, including disadvantaged families and ethnic minorities.

Two Olympic Live Sites will be set up by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD) during the period of the Beijing Olympic and Paralympic Games (the Games). The Live Sites will provide diversified cultural and entertainment activities for public enjoyment with a view to creating a positive and festive atmosphere for the Games, spreading the Olympic spirit, as well as attracting active public participation in the Games.

Entertainment for all

The Live Sites will be set up at Victoria Park and Sha Tin Park daily from August 8 to 24. A Live Site is also planned for the Paralympic Games on selected dates and hours from September 6 to 17 at Sha Tin Park. The Live Sites will feature stage performances by arts groups/district organisations/schools, television broadcast of the Olympic and Paralympic events, entertainment and fitness activities, sale of licensed products, exhibitions, Olympic information centre, etc. The sites will be open and accessible to all free of charge.

To attract the participation of visitors from all around the world, LCSD will distribute publicity materials at the Hong Kong International Airport, ferry terminals connecting Macau and the Mainland piers, local hotels, etc. Moreover, the consulate generals in Hong Kong will be invited to arrange cultural performances of their own countries at the Live Sites and encourage their fellow people to enjoy the Olympic atmosphere together. It is expected that visitors can experience the Olympic spirit in Hong Kong and its credentials as “Asia’s world city”.

To further extend our warmest welcome, all visiting equestrian teams will be invited to visit the Live Sites through the assistance of the Equestrian Events (Hong Kong) of the Games of the XXIX Olympiad Company Limited.

Residents in Sham Shui Po, Southern District and those in more remote parts of Hong Kong – Tung Chung, Tin Shui Wai were invited to join a 200-day countdown event at Ocean Park Hong Kong. Disabled people are also being encouraged to participate, in the spirit of integration and equality as enshrined in the Paralympic Games, for instance the Commissioner for Rehabilitation is liaising with Non-Governmental Organisations to arrange for disabled groups to watch some of the Olympic events live.