LIONS MEMBERS AND families from around the world will parade in Wan Chai to mark the start of the 88th Lions Clubs International Convention. Representing 194 countries and geographical regions, they will gather at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre from 4pm tomorrow to prepare for the event, officially named a Parade of Nations. The parade of more than 20,000 will kick off at 6pm when the Lions members - many of whom will be wearing their native costume - march along the Wan Chai waterfront sending greetings to the citizens of Hong Kong. They will be accompanied by 20 marching bands, energetic lion dances and a giant air-filled kangaroo. Duffy Wong, chairman of the convention's parade working group, said the parade would be the biggest of its kind in Hong Kong and was intended to promote peace among different nations and ethnic groups. 'The parade is a unique characteristic of the Lions Clubs International Convention. It consists of people from around the globe who are striving for the common goal of helping others,' he said. 'The parade also serves as a warm greeting from Lions members worldwide to the city where the convention is held. All members will relax and have fun in the carnival-like parade amidst a serious convention.' Leading the parade will be the Lions Clubs International Family, which comprises past and present members of the international board of directors. They will head the delegation as it moves along Expo Drive East, Convention Avenue and Fenwick Pier Street. The parade will finish at the Tamar site. Mr Wong said it would take about 45 minutes and spectators were welcome to watch it as it progressed along the route to get a feel of the carnival atmosphere. 'The chance to hold such a large-scale parade is rare in Hong Kong and we are thankful for the support of the government in making this spectacular event happen.' More than 10,000 raincoats will be distributed to participants if it rains on the parade.