National Day parade rehearsal shuts down city center

September 18, 2009 | Posted by Chris

This afternoon Tian'anmen Square and its surrounding vicinity were closed off for a full dress rehearsal for the National Day parade on October 1, according to the Associated Press. The parade, which will commemorate the 60th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China, is meant to celebrate the progress China has made in the several decades since its civil war, and the event is expected to be a large-scale coordination even greater than the 2008 Olympic opening ceremony. To the dismay of locals, today's dress rehearsal was not open to public viewing, and in fact the entire center city came to a halt in the face of very high security. Local residents were mixed about having their workday disrupted -- not only were streets shut down, but the busy transfer subway stop at Dongdan, which connects the red line 1 with the purple line 5, was also closed because it is located beneath the parade route. One accountant who works in Beijing's central business district said it was nice to not have to work in the afternoon, but in contrast another resident expressed unhappiness at his "five-hour odyssey" to get home, writing online, "I hope that there won't be any 70th anniversary" celebrations.

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