Taipei, July 3 (CNA) The Songshan Cultural and Creative Park in eastern Taipei has temporarily extended its weekend operating hours to 10 p.m., with the repurposed former tobacco factory playing host to a diverse array of indoor nighttime activities until Sept. 11 as part of the trial run.
While the park's outdoor areas are open 24 hours a day, Taipei's Department of Cultural Affairs on Saturday said indoor locations that previously closed at 6 p.m. had been opened until 10 p.m. from June 24 on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights.
At the center of the trial run is the park's Summer Festival (夏日松一下--夏喂咦!?), which features boutique markets, exhibitions, art installations, and other cultural activities involving over 500 partnering artists, teachers, and vendors.
Should the festival go smoothly, the park is hoping to make the new extended operating hours permanent from the beginning of next year, according to the city department.
The department said the park had drafted plans to keep its indoor locations and services open into the evening back in 2019, with events such as evening outdoor yoga and film screenings back in 2020 being the park's management testing the waters.
Unfortunately, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic forced the management to scrap its plans and keep its previously scheduled hours.
Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) welcomed the new operating hours, saying that Taipei was in need of a signature nightlife district to rival the likes of Paris and Seoul.
With the neighboring Taipei Dome close to completion, Ko said that the extended operating hours of the park would be the first step toward building a magnet destination able to draw evening crowds and bustle.