CNY Bazaar, a mini Chinatown at Blacksmith Road

Ting (centre) with his councillors jointly pressing the button to light up the lanterns in symbolic to launch the bazaar.

By Wendy John

SIBU, Jan 17: Blacksmith Road here has turned into a mini Chinatown following the opening of a Chinese New Year Bazaar, where the 40-odd traders are selling new year goods.

It was also the first time that a CNY bazaar was set up in the area to enliven the festival mood. The 100m road is now dotted with bright red lanterns. The bazaar open from morning to night time.

Sibu Municipal Council (SMC) chairman Clarence Ting, who performed the lantern lighting-up ceremony yesterday evening, said his idea of turning a street selling new year goods received positive response from the Sibu Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCCI).

“I was thinking that in Sibu during Chinese New Year, for that matter, and other festivals like Hari Raya and Gawai, we will close one street to let people coming back have a feel of the festival mood. I was very lucky that the SCCCI youth section head came to see me. So I asked them would they be interested to do it,” he said.

People thronged the CNY Bazaar following its opening on Thursday evening.

He added that SCCCI Youth Entrepreneur Committee took up thechallenge to set up the bazaar. SMC only provide them with a place for the bazaar, which will last for 10 days.

“If business here is good, we will have similar bazaar next year. We hope a lot of people will come here and join the festival mood,” he said.

Committee president Sean Hii said it took them two months to finally make the bazaar a reality.

“We were struggling to take up the challenge from SMC, as this place is a street and a car parking area by day. We took up the task as we want to help the mayor in brightening up the town ,” said Hii.

He said they had to engage a decoration expert from Kuala Lumpur to come out with a suitable decoration design for the bazaar that fit the occasion and also to pull in the crowd.

“We want to make this place with a different ambience so that when local coming back from outstation can see something different,” he said.

Councillor Andy Ting said there would be entertainment programme nightly on the mini-stage at the bazaar to attract people either local or tourists.

“With this bazaar we hope the people would come to the town centre during night time which otherwise is normally deserted,” he said.

Andy said even before the bazaar open for trading, locals have already helped to publicise it by writing about it in social media. — DayakDaily