Sun, 08 Jun 2003

Huge crowd comes out for Kemang street festival

Bambang Nurbianto The Jakarta Post Jakarta

A sea of people flocked the Kemang street festival in South Jakarta on Saturday, which was part of a series of events slated for June and July to commemorate Jakarta's 476th anniversary.

The event featured a bazaar stretching 1.5 kilometers along Jl. Kemang Raya and various traditional and modern performances, such as the Reog Ponorogo dance from East Java, Ondel-Ondel from Jakarta, pop music concerts and theatrical performances.

"It's a good program. I came here with some friends just to have fun," said a young man in his 20s.

About 200,000 visitors turned out for last year's festival, with a similar estimate of the turnout this year, including many expatriates.

About 1,000 stalls offered handicrafts, toys, clothes, furniture and electronic goods, as well as luxury cars.

"We are seriously using the momentum of Jakarta's 476th anniversary to promote tourism in the city," head of the city's tourism agency Aurora Tambunan told The Jakarta Post on Saturday.

The festival started at 9 a.m. and was scheduled to end 12 hours later with a fireworks show. During the event, Jl. Kemang Raya was closed to traffic, causing congestion on surrounding streets. However, motorcycles were still allowed to pass through the crowded street, to the annoyance of festival-goers.

Other events held for Jakarta's 476th anniversary:

1. JakArt@2003 art festival featuring over 600 art performances, from June 1 to June 30 in various places all over the city.

2. Jakarta Metropolitan rally on Sunday, scheduled to start from City Hall, Central Jakarta, at 7:30 a.m.

3. Jakarta Fair from June 12 to July 12 at the Kemayoran Fairground in Central Jakarta.

4. A night party on June 22, the city's official anniversary, at City Hall. Programs include Lenggak Lenggok Jakarta dance, Twilight Orchestra and pop concerts featuring Reza, Mollucas and Andre Hehanusa.

5. Jakarta 10-kilometer marathon. Start and finish at City Hall. President Megawati Soekarnoputri will wave off the participants.

6. Jakarta Carnival: July 6 starting from City Hall.