Operation Santa Claus

Gingerbread galore to feature at annual Hong Kong street fair raising money for local needy

DIY workshops run by developer’s volunteer staff available in two locations

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 23 November, 2017, 9:38pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 23 November, 2017, 10:34pm

Hongkongers need not run as fast as they can to catch the gingerbread man this festive season.

The seasonal treat is to feature prominently at Starstreet Precinct in Wan Chai and Tong Chong Street in Taikoo for Swire Properties’ fair themed “Rediscover the Wonders of Christmas”.

Few confections symbolise the Christmas season quite like gingerbread, and it enjoys unprecedented attention at the fifth edition of the annual street event.

For the first time ever, DIY workshops on making gingerbread are to be made available. To take part, attendees must only make a donation. Proceeds from the fair go to Operation Santa Claus, the annual fundraiser jointly organised by the South China Morning Post and RTHK that supports local and regional NGOs.

About 40 Swire Properties Community Ambassadors are poised to be on site to assist those who wish to bring the edible festive souvenirs home. The ambassadors are volunteers of the property group and earlier took part in a cooking course organised by the firm to brush up on their baking skills.

Many found the course enjoyable.

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“I think the company made the workshop less work-related, and many of us actually felt very relaxed and thought it wasn’t a struggle,” volunteer Fay Fang said.

Fang noted she had never before made gingerbread. She said she was ready to show others what to do and hoped to see everyone enjoy the workshop.

“Office pressure these days is heavy, and it will be quite nice if managers and subordinates can all mingle, break down boundaries and participate in the event.”

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Yvonne Chan, who has 19 years of baking experience under her belt, joined the course. Chan believed the experience could bring warmth and a sense of purpose.

“I think the baking workshop is a very good idea and is meaningful because you can have fun and bring home the yummy product,” she said. “Most importantly, the donations can help others too, so I really hope to see happy faces.”

Swire Properties CEO Guy Bradley said the annual fair had become a popular year-end celebration and charity fundraising event. He encouraged people to stop by to have fun and help raise money for a worthy cause.

Bradley added that the fair aimed to engage local communities.

“This year, we involved Starstreet Precinct and Taikoo Shing tenants and residents in every aspect of the street fair, from hosting booths that sell Christmas-themed gifts to giving musical performances,” he said.

The fair at Starstreet Precinct is to kick off Friday and runs until Sunday. It is larger in scale than past events at the site. Massive 20-foot-tall gingerbread balloons are to greet visitors in the Wan Chai area.

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Fair visitors can indulge in shopping, with more than 20 booths and shops in the area offering special promotions relating to food and drink, live entertainment and some surprise offerings.

Other attractions include Hong Kong’s first-ever, life-size gingerbread man foosball machine, positioned at Tong Chong Street in Taikoo Place from next Thursday to Saturday.

Foosball machine challengers have a chance to win a one-night stay in a harbourview room at East hotel.

Last year, the street fair drew 60,000 visitors during its five-day run.