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SIBU: A grand parade by 56 contingents comprising 1,800 representatives from the Chinese, Malay/Melanau and Dayak/Orang Ulu cultural organisations and business entities will mark the opening night of the annual Borneo Cultural Festival (BCF) here tomorrow evening.
Sarawak Minister of Housing and Tourism Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg, Minister of Local Government and Community Development Datuk Seri Wong Soon Koh and chairman of the Sibu Municipal Council (SMC) Datuk Tiong Thai King will lead the two-hour-long colourful procession from 6.30 pm along the town's major streets.
SMC deputy chairman Daniel Ngieng said today the festival, the largest tourism event of the state's central region, would be held at the Sibu Town Square Phase One and Two until July 15.
"The festival, as usual, will be in two parts, the cultural and the business.
"To date, 126 companies in the agricultural, education, automotive, food production, heavy machinery sale and telecommunication services have confirmed their participation," he told a press conference.
He said that for the first time, a Penan cultural troupe from Kapit town would perform at the Dayak/Orang Ulu stage on July 11.
"The only foreign cultural troupe will be from Sri Lanka this year. They will perform from July 12 to 14," he said.
Ngieng said that for the first time, too, the Malay/Melanau segment would feature a full-scale Sarawak Malay traditional wedding ceremony.
He urged cultural enthusiasts not to miss the festival as the organisers had planned comprehensive and varied nightly cultural programmes.
Ngieng also urged those attending the event not to litter the venue for the sake of a “Green BCF and a Clean Sibu Town".
He said the festival was popular among the locals, and an estimated 50,000 people attended the grand finale of the last festival in 2010. -- BERNAMA