It's been a time for iconic events lately. Taking part in them drove home how lucky we are to live in a city so diverse, so exciting, so fulfilling that life is a vivid kaleidoscope of choice. Three of these events are unique, made-in-Hong Kong social landmarks. By rank of age, they are the Hong Kong Arts Festival, the Rugby Sevens and WinPac, the annual wine lovers' carnival. Each appeals to a niche audience. Each enriches the patina of life for all. I was musing on this last Thursday night as the Spanish National Ballet performed sensationally at the Cultural Centre. The hall was packed with wildly applauding fans. The next day, the Rugby Sevens erupted exuberantly, presenting another facet of culture; fans there clapped and cheered the athletes as enthusiastically as the dancers had been greeted the night before. On Saturday, I had dinner with a friend where we enjoyed a bottle of Haan Wilhelmus 2001 shiraz, a South African wine that won a gold medal at WinPac, whose formal proceedings took place in January. Wine, sport and arts; in each of these fields, we enjoy the best the world has to offer. In all three cases this is because Hongkongers years ago grasped the initiative to launch new events. The arts festival began humbly in 1972. But there was nothing humble about the 33rd festival. There was opera from Jiangsu , Italy and Guangdong. Patrons could choose between Brazilian guitarists, Norwegian pianists or a jazz band from Shanghai. There was gospel music from Alabama and the austere discipline of a Russian Orthodox choir. Theatre, dance, music - the offerings were as delightful as they were diverse. The festival also showcased new works of drama commissioned for the month-long event, a move that brings enormous encouragement to the talented young actors and playwrights of Hong Kong. A cultural desert? Come off it. Festival executive director Douglas Gautier deserves a standing ovation for the imagination and flair he put into the 2005 festival. It was a triumph. And so were the Sevens. This weekend of unabashed fun is a mixture of village fete and top-rank international sport. When it first kicked off in 1976, it was backed by a comparative handful of Hong Kong fans, players and officials, spurned by the toffy English rugby nabobs. Today, it's a red-letter day on the world's sporting calendar. It was hijacked this year by the International Rugby Board to use as a vehicle for the Sevens World Cup but managed still to retain its inimitable atmosphere of boozy amiability. Away from the stage and the goal posts, the combined crowds from the Sevens - an estimated 20,000 - and the more modest influx for the arts festival had profound financial effects. Hotels were bursting. We may think we're just having fun at the Sevens, but we're also making money. A worldwide audience estimated at 700 million watched the rugby, a statistic that must surely delight Hong Kong Tourism Board officials. WinPac also has a significant impact on the way many people live. The first bottle was uncorked 16 years ago when the event was attended by a modest number of mostly expatriate gourmets. At this year's New World Wine Festival in January, a panel of top international judges sniffed and spat more than 900 of the most distinguished vintages grown around the Pacific Rim. The event at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel was sold out. The tastings, master classes and wine dinners attracted the sophisticated rising generation of Hong Kong, many of whom learned the mysterious art of wine appreciation at earlier WinPacs. The annual event has done much to help elevate our culinary scene. There is, of course, a lot more to life in Hong Kong than sipping elegant vintages, watching giants clash on a sports ground and appreciating the Polish National Opera perform Otello. But it's the broad selection of attractions for every taste that helps give our community the style and excitement we must have to achieve our ambition of becoming Asia's 'world city'. There are many others. The Jockey Club in recent years has lifted its game; the International Race Day, with its $56 million in prize money, is now one of the richest meetings in the world. It has placed a city without horses in the leading ranks of racing. We've got the film festival this month, the Tin Hau celebrations and the Cheung Chau bun scramble in May, the comics and games fair in July, the food expo in August and the lantern carnival in September. The list goes on ... so, let's enjoy.