Football pitches at Victoria Park have been fully booked for June 4, a day that in previous years saw tens of thousands of residents gather in the public space for a candlelight vigil to commemorate the pro-democracy activists killed by the military in Tiananmen Square in 1989. But most of the time slots on June 1-3 and June 5-23 remained open, a check by the Post found on Wednesday, a day after officials said the pitches were available for sports on June 4 but not for “other purposes”. A staff member at Victoria Park told a Post reporter posing as a venue user that many people had rushed to reserve a June 4 time slot on Tuesday and Wednesday. The six pitches are free for the public to use from 7am to 11pm, but each individual is only allowed to book a maximum of two hours each day. Users are required to visit the office in person to make the reservations. Hong Kong’s Tiananmen vigil: police close down part of Victoria Park Hong Kong has been the only city on Chinese soil to organise large-scale activities to mourn those killed in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square, but for the past two years, authorities banned the event citing public health concerns related to the Covid-19 pandemic. The Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements of China, the group behind the annual Victoria Park vigil, disbanded last year. In 2019, organisers said more than 180,000 residents attended the event, although police put the figure at 37,000. Residents last year held a much smaller commemoration scattered across the city’s streets, amid a heavy police presence, including water trucks. Having the pitches fully booked on sensitive dates is not uncommon. For example, pro-establishment organisations organised lion dances and exhibitions when opposition groups hosted protests or marches on July 1 in previous years. As a charity organisation, the pro-establishment Hong Kong Celebrations Association had been given priority to use the football pitches, but its events usually attracted far fewer people, leaving most of the venue empty.