Citizen Santas come riding bikes in a parade

 To show compassion to needy neighbors 

▲ Citizens in Santa costumes ride bicycles in the 2011 Changwon Santa Bike Parade held from Mannan Plaza to the foreground of the Changwon Exhibition Convention Center(CECO) and back to the plaza on Dec. 10. About 2,000 citizens, including Mayor Park Wan-su participated in the parade.

  Santas have come again to Changwon this year to distribute love to citizens from the two wheels they rode.

  This was the third annual event, which was held at Mannam (meeting) Plaza in the precinct of Changwon Stadium and on nearby streets in Changwon on Dec. 10.

  The event, titled 2011 Changwon Santa Bike Parade, aimed to send a message of hope to underprivileged citizens as well as to share warm hearts with them by raising money in a charity bazaar. Changwon has virtually made itself known to the world as a “special bicycle city,” hosting the World Bicycle Festival this year.

  The event was comprised of pre-parade performances, opening ceremony, main program of bike parade, celebratory performances, gift drawings, charity bazaar, baking whipped-cream cakes and taking pictures at the photo zone. It is believed that this event contributed to encourage citizens to ride bicycles more.

  During the formal opening ceremony, prizes were awarded to outstanding members and congratulatory messages were delivered and PR envoys were introduced at the Mannam Plaza stage in front of the Changwon Stadium. The charity was conducted in collaboration with Community Chest of Korea at a small stage in front of the Lotte Mart on Jungangno street.

  The organizers collected an estimated 15 million won (about $13,000) in “warm heart ­sharing” charity events, such as the unsealing of piggybanks, a bazaar, an auction and donations from participants. The collection was handed over to the Community Chest of Korea for charity.

  Participants of the event said that they will definitely take part in the parade and share warm heart with poor neighbors at least for one day next year, too. “I am very pleased to have a chance to ride the bicycle to recover health and deliver love to needy neighbors during the event,” a citizen said.

  The Santa bike parade proceeded as about 2,000 citizens were riding bikes in Santa costume from Mannam Plaza to City Hall of Changwon, T-junction of the Industrial Complex Head Office, Samdong Intersection of Changwoncheon Bridge, entrance of the City Seven, the foreground of the Changwon Exhibition Convention Center(CECO) and back to the plaza.

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