Hong Kong residents will not need to pay to use various public sports and recreation facilities on July 1, the 25th anniversary of the city’s return to Chinese rule, while authorities will spend about HK$300 million (US$32 million) on a series of leisure activities to celebrate the occasion throughout the year. Horman Chan Ming-cheong, assistant director at the Leisure and Cultural Services Department, said in a press conference on Monday that sports lovers would be able to get free tickets on a first-come-first-served basis via the department’s online booking platform or at the counters of leisure venues from 7am on June 25. “Most sports facilities will be free to use, except sports grounds, turf pitches and holiday camps. Other land and aquatic facilities including swimming pools will be free,” he said. “Each person can book one session on that day. For example, they can book one session of the badminton court which lasts for an hour … For swimming pools, users can line up outside [on July 1] and the quotas will be in accordance with the pool’s capacity.” The Leisure and Cultural Services Department manages facilities such as sports venues, public libraries, performance sites and museums. The department will also host a wide array of events between this month and until the end of the year to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the handover and to celebrate Hong Kong City Hall and Hong Kong Public Libraries’ 60th anniversary. “The department will organise a number of wonderful recreational, arts and culture events from this month to the end of this year, hoping to celebrate this important day with all Hong Kong people,” Director of Leisure and Cultural Services Vincent Liu Ming-kwong said. Bookings for Hong Kong sports venues to open earlier than counters to foil touts Outdoor interactive arts installations and large-screen digital projections combining arts, science and technology will be showcased at Victoria Harbour from June onwards. Oil Street Art Space, a space for art exhibitions, will open a new section to the public on Tuesday featuring a giant anamorphic illusion cube. Hong Kong Museum of Art and Hong Kong Heritage Museum will also hold a series of exhibitions, some of which will showcase Chinese landscape paintings and stories of the Dunhuang caves, while eight dinosaur fossil specimens will be displayed at the Hong Kong Science Museum. Sports facilities will also be free of charge on August 7 to mark Sports For All Day 2022.