Beach festival back with a bang

DO the limbo in the morning, and play some sports later in the day while being at ease that your children are not too far away, busy with their own activities in the kid’s corner.

And end it all being serenaded by jazzy numbers, with the cool breeze in your hair, against a silhouette of purple and gold in the sky as day gives way to night.

These were the experiences felt by visitors at the two-day Tanjung Aru Beach Festival (TABF) 2023 from Oct 28 at the idyllic Tanjung Aru beach, a 15-minute drive from Kota Kinabalu city.

Sabah Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Christina Liew had previously promised during a run-up to the event that the festival would make a grand return after being halted by the pandemic.

And it sure was a bang with over 10,000 thronging the popular beachfront from 10am to 10pm during the two days, surpassing the some 6,000 visitors the last time the TABF was held in 2019.

Liew said the festival was more than just a simple event to get people together.

People playing beach touch rugby game during the TABF 2023.People playing beach touch rugby game during the TABF 2023.

“It’s a celebration of our community, our culture and our shared love for the sun, the sea and the sand,” she said when launching the TABF 2023.

“It’s a moment to come together, embrace the simple joys of life, and create lasting memories with family and friends.

“As we enjoy the festivities, let us not forget the importance of preserving this natural wonder for generations to come,” Liew added.

Also present was Tourism, Arts, and Culture Ministry secretary-general Datuk Roslan Abdul Rahman, who was representing the federal tourism minister.

The heavens were also kind as the two days had ideal weather for people to soak in the festivities.

Besides lively music and entertainment, visitors were spoilt for choice of food as well as being treated to inspiring art displays, exciting sports, and fun activities for everyone.

Moreover, the event fostered a family-friendly atmosphere while promoting environmental awareness.

As it was a trash-free event, a strong environmental awareness was present throughout the festival in which attendees brought their own bags and bottles to minimise waste.

Additionally, a successful beach clean-up, in collaboration with Green Buddy Eco Friendly, resulted in the collection of 82 trash bags, amounting to 497.91kg of waste.

A boy taking part in the limbo rock competition held on the beach; and visitors enjoying live performances during the TABF 2023 concert.A boy taking part in the limbo rock competition held on the beach; and visitors enjoying live performances during the TABF 2023 concert.

One of the festival’s highlights was the live concert by musical talents specialising in various genres.

Day One featured a lineup of 10 artistes while Day 2 was equally remarkable, with seven Sabah jazz bands setting the stage for a magical sunset.

Furthermore, the Urban Tamu buskers elevated the atmosphere for festival-goers as they performed acoustic renditions of local and international hits.

Both days were packed with a wide range of activities to entertain festival-goers, from sports and fun activities like Zumba dance, sandcastle-building competition and the TABF beach race.

Dancers from D’Steps Dance Studio performing a fire show.Dancers from D’Steps Dance Studio performing a fire show.

Other sports activities

included a beach soccer event, a limbo rock competition, and a beach touch rugby mini tournament.

The kid’s corner included a bouncy castle, mini petting zoo and colouring contest, among others. The Sabah Football Club also hosted a children’s football clinic.

Invited guest speakers gave engaging talks on how to swim safely while having fun as well as a nature education at the Tanjung Aru Marine EcoSystem Centre.

Urban Tamu, the official vendor platform, hosted a total of 75 vendors, including food and beverage and merchandise business owners.

Attendees gave a thumbs-up to TABF 2023, and at the same time expressed their appreciation for the growing number of cultural events in the Sabah capital.