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KUANTAN: The third leg of Media Prima Bhd’s inaugural lifestyle and entertainment carnival #Gegaria Fest kicked off in style outside the Darul Makmur stadium here this morning.

Despite light rain and cloudy skies, hundreds gathered at the stadium’s compound from as early as 7.30am, despite the event only starting at 8.30am.

(File pix) The main stage will commence early morning with a zumba fitness dance workout and challenge, and continue with a myriad of physical activities, traditional games and electronic games for youth who likes to challenge their physical and mental strength.

The one-day festival is divided into five main zones, namely #Gegaria Makan-Makan, #Gegaria Throwback Tunnel, #Gegaria Lifestyle, #Gegaria Community and #Gegaria Entertainment.

Today’s extravaganza commenced with about 800 women and girls participating in an exciting zumba session led by instructors Dayang Damito and Dayang Niesa on the main stage.

#Gegaria Fest coordinator and News Straits Times Press (NSTP) advertising manager Mohd Anis Abdullah said that today’s zumba participants outnumber those who joined the session in the Selangor and Johor legs of the carnival.

Pic by NSTP/ASYRAF HAMZAH

"We are excited by the support shown by the people of Kuantan, who have displayed high spirits in joining the zumba session.

“We hope they will take the opportunity to participate in various other programmes which have been arranged here throughout the day.

"Due to the (overwhelming response) for zumba, some of the participants were not able to register for the event. But we were more than glad to give them the opportunity to join the session.

“More people will certainly make it merrier," Mohd Anis added.

Pic by NSTP/ MUHD ASYRAF SAWAL

Update

Fitness dance instructors Dayang Aisah Ali and Dayang Anisah were thrilled with the enthusiasm displayed by participants of #Gegaria Fest’s zumba session today.

The siblings led some 800-odd participants, consisting of women and girls, in the two-hour-long fitness programme.

Dayang Aisah, 36, fondly known as Dayang Damito, said the crowd outside the Darul Makmur stadium was very committed and did not leave the carnival site despite the rain.

"It is exciting to see such a huge and multiracial crowd. Despite the uncertain weather, the crowd remained at the site – and this has been the biggest number of zumba participants recorded so far.

"I was informed that there were 500 zumba participants during the #Gegaria Fest in Johor and 300 in Selangor.

“Even my previous public fitness sessions did not attract such a huge crowd," she said when met.

Her sister, Dayang Anisah, 34, said a 5-year-old girl was the youngest participant in the zumba session, while the eldest was a 60-year-old retiree.

Form Six student R. Dineshwary, 19, said she is a zumba enthusiast, but the event here today was extra special.

The SMK Abu Bakar student, who followed her classmates to the event, described the zumba session as fun-filled and all the participants as “sporting.”

"It is good to witness a multiracial crowd, and I hope more people, especially from the Indian community, will participate in zumba as it is a fun workout, along with dance moves," she said.

Crowd throngs to GegaRia Fest Kuantan. Pix by Farizul Hafiz Awang

Update

As overcast skies gave way to sunny weather, crowds swelled to overflowing at the Kelantan leg of #Gegaria Fest today.

At 3pm, long queues were spotted at the lifestyle and entertainment extravaganza’s five main zones, namely #Gegaria Makan-Makan, #Gegaria Throwback Tunnel, #Gegaria Lifestyle, #Gegaria Community and #Gegaria Entertainment.

Youths happily swarmed the Entertainment section, where electronic game booths buzzed with the energy of excited players.

Kids were also drawn to the traditional Malaysian games which were on display – such as congkak and sepak takraw – as well as low-tech attractions such as giant soap bubbles and juggling.

Another crowd-puller was the Makan-Makan district, one of the highlights of which was a showcase by celebrity Chef Fikree Aznan – host of Dapur Panas – who shared a smorgasbord of delicious recipes.

Celebrity Chef Fikree Aznan, host of Dapur Panas with Naz Rahman at the Makan- Makan district at Gegaria Fest in Kuantan. Pix by Asyraf Hamzah

The Lifestyle zone, meanwhile, saw fitness instructor Dayang Aisah Ali – who had earlier led a mass zumba session – sharing tips on healthy living.

The climax of today’s #Gegaria Fest will commence at 8.45pm, when a concert featuring popular artistes such as Akim & The Majistret, Bunkface, Masdo and Noh Salleh are sure to wow the crowd.

Check in again for more updates!

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