Inaugural Hello Kitty run celebrates character's 40th birthday

SINGAPORE - Hello Kitty, Japan's global icon of cuteness, had her 40th birthday celebration here this morning with the inaugural Hello Kitty Run Singapore.

Some 17,000 participants turned up for the run which was held at Siloso Beach, Sentosa.

The world-famous feline character's birthday surprise comprised a bouquet of flowers presented by a Dear Danielmascot, a 33 inch cupcake and a birthday song sung to her by all 17,000 race participants.

The 5km run was then flagged off by the Hello Kitty and Dear Daniel mascots at 8am.

The race was followed with a Hello Kitty Beach Party, featuring various activities including sand-castle building, a live fashion show featuring Hello Kitty-themed apparels, and a live band performance by Shili and Adi.

Hello Kitty fans the world over celebrated her 40th birthday today, with a human-sized version of the character greeting fans at a Tokyo department store and theme park, and a four-day Hello Kitty convention opening in Los Angeles.