The Macao Light Festival’s 20-day extension period will cost the Macao Government Tourism Office (MGTO) around MOP7 million, according to information provided to the Times yesterday.
Late last month MGTO informed that, due to a surge in visitors and positive coverage by the media, the month-long Macao Light Festival in December would be extended until January 20, in order to enable more of the public to enjoy the illuminations and “prolong its compelling effect as a mega event.”
The original budget for the festival this year was MOP18.5 million, up from MOP18 million last year. The extension, which represents a two-thirds increase from the initial length, will cost MGTO just over one-third more.
The budget for the festival is in line with other large cultural events in the MSAR. For example, last year the Macao International Parade had a budget of MOP16 million, while the Macao Arts Festival (organized by the Cultural Affairs Bureau) was budgeted at MOP22 million.
On several visits last month to some of the 11 locations of the Macao Light Festival, the Times found audiences of more than a hundred attendees, including at the Taipa Houses-Museum and at the Ruins of St. Paul’s on one rainy Friday night before the new year. According to MGTO, the popularity of the events was the impetus for the 20-day extension.
However, not all of the attractions are to remain until January 20.
In a note to the Times yesterday, MGTO clarified that, due to the limited availability of certain venues, the activities at St. Dominic’s Church, the Camões Garden, the Taipa Houses-Museum and the Taipa Municipal Market would not be extended.
Moreover, the Gastronomy Night Market in the square in front of Pak Tai Temple, the Cultural and Creative Night Market Outdoor, Local Concert at Anim’Arte Nam Van and the Light Dancers at Rua das Estalagens would also conclude early.
Some attractions of the festival on the Nam Van Lake promenade were dismantled yesterday. In a press release issued on December 21, MGTO stated that “the Gastronomy Night Market at the square in front of Pak Tai Temple as well as the Cultural and Creative Night Market and the Outdoor Local Concert at Anim’Arte Nam Van are not to be extended.” However, some of these events remained open during the first week of January.
The other locations of the festival, including the popular projection mapping show at the Ruins of St. Paul’s, will continue every day from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. until January 20.
Themed “Time Travel in Macao”, the Macao Light Festival 2018 is organized by the Macao Government Tourism Office, co-organized by the Civic and Municipal Affairs Bureau, the Cultural Affairs Bureau and the Sports Bureau.