About 100,000 people are expected to join the festivities at a Lunar New Year parade in Tsim Sha Tsui on January 26. Organised by the Hong Kong Tourism Board, the 1?-hour parade will start at 8pm on the first evening of the Year of the Ox, featuring 13 floats and 26 performing groups from 12 countries and regions. The parade is again being sponsored by Cathay Pacific Airways, which has been title sponsor for the past 11 years. James Tien Pei-chun, the board's chairman, said it had looked for other title sponsors, which must be large, locally listed companies. 'We sent out letters to over 100 companies and had talks with three of them. In the end, we signed an agreement with Cathay Pacific again,' he said. The parade and activities were estimated to cost HK$27 million, with more than HK$6 million from sponsors, Mr Tien said. The parade will start from the Hong Kong Cultural Centre and go along Salisbury Road to Mody Lane before making a U-turn to end the show at the New World Centre. Of the 13 floats, four are first-time participants, including Hong Kong 2009 East Asian Games, Michelin Asia, The Pirates' Float from Spain and the Seoul metropolitan government from South Korea. Over half of the performing groups will make their first public appearance in Hong Kong. They include the Japanese Shizuoka PR Unit, featuring popular cartoon characters, Washington Redskins cheerleaders and Poco Loco from Denmark, who will show off their Samba dancing skills. About 1,500 tickets, priced from HK$180 to HK$300, will be sold at the Tourism Board's visitor centres in Tsim Sha Tsui and Causeway Bay from Sunday. Half-price concession will be given to those aged 65 or older and children aged three to 11. Last year, close to 900,000 tourists - two-thirds from the mainland - visited the city during the first 10 days of the Lunar New Year. Aside from the parade, a fireworks show will be staged above Victoria Harbour at 8pm on January 27.