HONG KONG--The Krokodioles, one of Harvard's most prestigious a cappela groups, celebrated Hong Kong's handover to China doing what they do best. The group's 13 members were in Hong Kong performing at the Regent Hotel's "One Country, Two Parties," festivity, the biggest celebration of the island country's new governance.
Within the glass walls of one of the country's most glamorous hotels, the Kroks performed their more up-beats songs to match the uproarious mood of the party's 3,000 guests.
Between gigs, the Kroks roamed the three floors of international food buffets and danced along-side some of Hong Kong's wealthiest and most influential people.
But despite these high-class distractions, the conspicuous billboard-sized countdown clock was the center of attention.
And the climax of the party was the stroke of midnight, when Hong Kong offically reverted to Chinese rule. As the hour approached, Hong Kong's socialities prepared to shed their British colonial adornments for traditional Chinese attire. The Kroks were not exception.
During the night, the Kroks wore their tradement tuxedos and, for the morning, the hotel provided them with Chinese robes. The party staff of 185 also took a minute from their constant scurrying to change from their costumes made from British flags to ones made from Chinese flags.
In exchange for their performance, the Kroks were rewarded with front row seats for the record-breaking fireworks display and the departure of the royal ship Britannia carrying Prince Charles and Hong Kong's last British administrator, Gov. Chris Patten.
A number of the Regent's crowd described the handover as merely an excuse to get together with friends and have a little fun.
"The handover is just a particular event on a certain day," said Kevin Yip. "The transition has been going on for a long time so it's almost a non-event."
Others were more focused on the historic significance of the stroke of midnight.
"We go to a new era together, so tonight a lot of people want to witness it together in a nice atmosphere," said Helen Kee.
What was deemed "the party of the century" was an elite celebration attended by the celebrities, business tycoons and expatriates who could afford the $320 entrance fees and an investment in festive costumes.
After their three-days stop in Hong Kong, the Kroks headed for their next world tour engagement in Bali.