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WALKING Street returned to Phuket City this evening and will continue over Sunday and Monday. It's one of the island's most appealing street parties.
Part Buddhist, part Muslim, part Chinese and all Phuket, the Old Phuket Festival celebrates the island's history. And as usual, most of that has to do with food.
A parade of dancing plates of local delicacies sounded the beginning of the three-day celebration this evening, with school children moving along main roads carrying the various dishes to the music of marching bands.
They marched past about 40 old Volkswagens, parked in tribute along one of the roads.
Musicians were setting up a stage for performances in Thalang Road as Phuketwan indulged in some local island culture: that is, food.
We got in early, and a big crowd followed later. People seemed pleased that the walking street was back after being cancelled last year out of respect for the passing of Her Royal Highness Princess Galyani Vadhana.
Soi Romanee has never looked better, with neat benches spread out along the road and the hip and happening shops and bars awaiting visitors.
Hundreds will be out walking over the next few days and nights to welcome back one of Phuket's favourite festivals.
A large outdoor screen will be showing movies that have been filmed in Phuket. On Thalang Road, an animated show about Sino Portuguese architecture will be featured at house number 63 throughout the festival.
Old-style boats (gorchan) from the region will be launched and floated down the Bang Yai klong (canal), which runs alongside Queen Sirikit Park.
Local historians will be speaking, in Thai, at Thai Hua Museum on Krabi Road.
The museum will also feature a photo exhibition on Sino-Portuguese architecture.
Dr Yongtanit Pimonsathien and Ajarn Jarunee Pimonsathien, architecture and urban planning experts from Thammasat University, will hold a lecture on history and architecture at house number 83 on Thalang Road, from 7-9pm, in Thai.
Entertainment and vendor stalls will be set all along Thalang Road, from 6-11pm. House #83 will host a seminar about preserving Old Phuket, from 7-9pm. In Queen Sirikit Park, there will be a trade fair to buy local food and traditional sweets (khanom boran) along Klong Bang Yai.
Jungceylon shopping mall, in Patong, will feature Chinese opera, local dancing, kung fu demonstrations and folk dancers from China at the Port stage.
Starting at 10.09am and going until midnight, people are invited to pay respect to Chinese gods at the golden dragon statue in Queen Sirikit Park. Many activities will honour Phuket's twin cities in China - Hainan, Iantai.
Theatre performers from seven provinces in China will put on shows throughout the festival.