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By Brad Rantayy
MIRI, Dec 4: The 11th Miri City Christmas parade is set to kick off this Saturday (Dec 8).
According to Miri Mayor, Adam Yii during a press conference on Tuesday, they are expecting a crowd of 45,000 at the event which is scheduled to start at 4.30pm.
Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas is expected to launch the parade.
“A total of 15 churches will take part in the parade, “ Yii revealed, adding that the parade will pass by several locations within the city area with Miri City Fan as its starting point.
This year’s parade is headed by Methodist Church with the theme “Heaven’s Gift of Love” based on the Bible verse John 3:16.
The parade route is as follows: Miri City Fan/ Jalan Sylvia/ Jalan Brooke/ Jalan Kingsway/ Jalan Puchong/ Jalan Padang/ Jalan Melayu/ Jalan Nahkoda Gampar/ Jalan Cina/ Jalan Bendahara/ Jalan North Yu Seng/ Jalan South Yu Seng/ Jalan Merpati/ Jalan Kipas/ Miri City Fan.
Road closures will be in effect from 6pm onwards. Roads affected are the roundabout leading to Jalan Kipas, in front of the mosque; the Junction of Jalan Kipas–SK Syed Othman; and the junction of Jalan Unus– mosque and Federal Complex.
The parade programme starts from 5.30pm which include praise and worship, and performances from various churches.
“Apart from performances at the City Fan itself, we also have a few street performances at various areas such as along Jalan Kingsway, in front of Miri City Council; Jalan Nakhoda Awang Gapar in front of Sin Liang; at Jalan Datuk Merpati in front of Permaisuri Imperial Mall and in front of Ming Cafe,” Yii explained during a press conference on the event at the Miri City Council meeting room on Tuesday morning.
Also present at the press conference was Rev Nicholas Tan Chung Kiat, pastor-in-charge of the Methodist Church in Miri.
“Miri is the only city in the whole of Malaysia which has such a Christmas Parade jointly organised by churches and the City Council,” Tan reckoned.
He said, in other large urban centres in Sarawak, such as Kuching, Sibu and Bintulu, there are Christmas Parades but organised by churches alone.
“This is a great affirmation given by the local government to the Association of Churches in Miri.
“It means that the City Council recognises our role in uniting the people in Miri, especially the Christian community and even non-Christian… I’m sure that, not only Christians but even non-Christians are looking forward to it,” he said.
Tan emphasised that the Christmas Parade is a celebration which is open to participation from everyone irrespective of race and political background.
“Therefore, the Organising Committee has extended the invitation to all community and political leaders, including ‘wakil rakyat’ from both Pakatan Harapan and GPS (Gabungan Parti Sarawak)…. We welcome everyone to celebrate the festival together with the whole Christian community in Miri City,” he said. — DayakDaily