This year's lantern festival is open to the public free of charge from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. daily until Feb. 19. The festival's main attraction this year, an exhibition titled Brilliant Light of the Jade Hare, features a 22m-tall "robot" displayed at Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall. However, the traffic, noise and crowds can be quite disturbing for Guangfu Elementary School which is right beside the festival site.
Students of Taipei Municipal Guangfu Elementary School arrived at school early. Some are accompanied by their parents. However, parents are concerned that the noise and packs of visitors from the Taipei Lantern Festival nearby would affect their children during school time.
Parent: “We received a notice from the school a few days ago reminding parents to be careful when driving by the school because of the lantern festival.”
Parent: “The school is constantly reminding us parents to be quick when driving by to drop off and pick up our children.”
The school said the police have surveyed the area before the lantern festival took place and asked if the school could make certain flexible adjustments. The parent association also offered great assistance to ensure the safety of students.
Lai Chun-hsien, Principal, Taipei Municipal Guangfu Elementary School: “There is stricter traffic control around the festival area. Police from the Xinyi Precinct spent a lot of time surveying the area around the school to help us go through this period of time. There are some impacts during school hours more or less, but we have put in a lot of personnel to relieve the impact.”
Chiang Wan-an, Taipei City Mayor: “Indeed there are some detailed areas where we could do better. People have reflected on us about some problems. There is still another week of the festival so we will try to improve on the problems that people have told us about.”
In response to problems of flow through the festival site, Chiang said he has visited the festival himself and experienced the problems. He said he would make as many improvements as possible for the rest of the festival till Feb. 19.