RUNNING with a splash of colors in Pudong is among 46 activities scheduled for the 2014 Shanghai Tourism Festival, which will run from September 13 to October 6.
Around the city, some 56 tourist spots will offer discount admissions, including Madame Tussauds Wax Museum, the Shanghai Wildlife Zoo, Shanghai Science & Technology Museum and more.
Some call the Color Run, to be held in the Oriental Sports Center in Pudong New Area on September 27, “the happiest 5km on the planet.” It will not be timed; instead competitors will be doused with colors from head to toe at every kilometer.
Whether entrants are children, senior citizens or first-time runners, they can walk, lurch or stagger to the end, where a “color festival” will be held. The gigantic party is equipped with music, dancing, and massive color throws.
Participants can register online. Organizers said several thousand runners are expected to take part. Entrance fees range from 168 yuan (US$27) to 208 yuan.
Besides the Color Run, Pudong will offer a rich array of fun events during the annual citywide tourism festival — a bit of something for everyone.
The traditional opening floats parade in Puxi, which will take place on Huaihai Road M,, is always the highlight. Thousands of people from a huge variety of international and nationwide organizations along with marching bands and floats will provide a grand evening spectacle on September 13.
Among them is a Disney-themed float with classic characters. A team of Chinese and foreign experts is now working on the design of the float that will blend authentic Disney features with distinctly Chinese elements, according to the Shanghai Disney Resort, which is under construction in Pudong.
On September 28, a fleet of 20 illuminated ships will cruise on the Huangpu River. Standing in a crisp breeze on the Pudong side on Binjiang Avenue, watching the ships and lights reflecting off the river and against the background of the old mansions in the Bund, is also good clean fun.
Originated in ancient China in the 12th century, fireworks are believed to be useful to get rid of bad luck. Chinese people traditionally light fireworks on important occasions and festivities.
A fireworks extravaganza in Pudong’s Century Park will be a highlight of both the Shanghai Tourism Festival and the National Day holiday week.
The 15th Shanghai International Music Fireworks Festival will kick off on September 30 with spectacular shows by pyrotechnic designers from France, Belgium and Greece on succeeding nights. The fireworks festival began in 2000 and every year six groups of different nations join the competition for gold, silver and copper awards.
“This year, to make the Shanghai International Music Fireworks Festival more splendid than ever before, we only invite awarded firework displaying groups,” says an official from Pudong Tourism Bureau.
Artistic lasers and other lights are added to enhance the fireworks and ensure a better performance, said the official. After each country’s 25-minute fireworks show, there will be another 25-minute Chinese-style fireworks performance accompanied by classic Chinese music and traditional art elements.
The three shows are designed differently and have their own themes. The French show on September 30, themed “The Journey of Water,” tries to celebrate the power of nature.
The final show on October 6, from Greece, is dubbed “The Concert” and features melodies and songs from the 1950s to today with genres that will include jazz, rock ’n’ roll, opera and more. The fireworks will change according to the music. Audiences will be immersed in stories through fireworks and music that includes songs from the film “Titanic” or “In Flanders Fields.”
For a rustic fun or family outing, another event is the Harvest Festival at Sunqiao Modern Agriculture Development Zone in late September.
The farm uses high-tech agriculture and greenhouses — it’s equipped with automatic temperature-control systems and some vegetables are grown using hydroponics.
A mushroom park, pumpkin park, tropical orchard and many other sites offer visitors a chance to pick seasonal treats. A large children’s zone is also provided.
Tourism festival highlights
Grand float parade
Date: September 13, 7:30-9:30pm
Venue: Huaihai Rd (Xizang Rd S. — Shaanxi Rd S.)
Entrance fees: Free
Date: September 27, 9am
Venue: Oriental Sports Center
Entrance fees: 168-208 yuan
Cruise fleet parade
Date: September 28
Venue: Huangpu River
Entrance fees: Free
Music and fireworks shows
Date: September 30, October 3, 6
Venue: Century Park
Entrance fees: 70-230 yuan
Date: Late September
Venue: Sunqiao Modern Agriculture Development Zone, 185 Mianbei Rd