The weekend of 12 and 13 November 2016 is one weekend you won’t want to be relaxing in the comfort of your hotel or student accommodation in Hong Kong, however enticing that usually proves. Not with the Standard Chartered Arts in the Park Mardi Gras 2016 festival taking place. This year the event celebrates 400 years of Shakespeare’s legacy and will be held under the theme of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, one of the famous scribe’s best known comedies. Visitors are promised a weekend of ‘extraordinary visual and sensory art experiences for all ages’ where they can ‘step into a magical forest with mesmerizing illuminated artworks, spectacular giant puppets and an array of art stalls and stage performances’. Organized by the Hong Kong Youth Arts Foundation, Standard Chartered Arts in the Park is one of Hong Kong’s biggest and most vibrant annual community art events. Last year saw more than 150,000 people visit. The event takes place in and around Victoria Park’s Central Lawn on Hong Kong Island and admission is free! On the evening of Saturday 12 November is the colourful Night Parade, featuring characters from A Midsummer Night’s Dream in the form of giant illuminated puppets. This year’s collaboration between local artists and UK-based Lantern Company will make its way between Lee Garden One and Hysan Place, Causeway Bay from 8.30 pm to 9.30 pm. Early Sunday afternoon, from 1 pm to 2.45 pm, British primatologist Dr. Jane Goodall will be at the ‘Roots and Shoots’ stall for a book signing and to give a talk. Youngsters from the Jane Goodall Institute (Hong Kong) will also share their experiences and ideas on conservation.
The following hosted event is the Grand Finale Parade, with the fairy king and queen, the mischievous elf Puck and other giant puppets making up the lively procession, including knights and nobles, donkey-headed Bottom, the six mechanicals, forest fairies and exotic plants. From 3 pm to 4 pm, the parade will travel between Victoria Park’s Central Lawn and East Point Road, Causeway Bay. Like many of the festivals and other events that take place in Hong Kong, Standard Chartered Arts in the Park Mardi Gras 2016 can be easily reached on the MTR (Mass Transit Railway). Considered to be among the finest transportation systems in the world, the MTR network is comprised of convenient and reliable stations throughout Hong Kong. Chances are your place of accommodation – whether it is a hotel, serviced apartment, guesthouse, off-campus student housing or Hong Kong flat for rent – is situated near at least one MTR station. Many hotels in the Kowloon tourist enclave of Tsim Sha Tsui – for example – are within a comfortable stroll of the MTR, such as Sheraton Hong Kong Hotel & Towers, Holiday Inn Golden Mile Hong Kong and The Peninsula Hong Kong. Additionally, some properties run a shuttle bus service for guests. Campus Hong Kong is one of the newest, most stylish properties in the Hong Kong student housing scene. Opened in 2015 and priding itself on the vibrant and energetic environment it offers guests, this off-campus student housing property in Tsuen Wan in the New Territories enjoys a picturesque location on the shores of the South China Sea. Campus Hong Kong guests can make use of a complimentary shuttle bus to and from two nearby MTR stations. From Tsuen Wan it takes 20 minutes on the MTR to reach Tsim Sha Tsui and 30 minutes to get to Central on Hong Kong Island, which is near Causeway Bay and Victoria Park. For Campus Hong Kong guests, that makes the trip from your dorms or student apartments in Tsuen Wan to the lively fun of Standard Chartered Arts in the Park Mardi Gras 2016 relatively quick and hassle-free.