Preparation for Rose Festival 2020 at Zakir Rose Garden in Sector 16 on Thursday. (Photo: Kamleshwar Singh)
The flowers have been groomed, the statues are all decked up and the carpet of green grass is dewy fresh. Welcome to the three-day annual rose festival of the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation (MCC) and Tourism Department beginning Friday. This year, the festival is dedicated to the theme of women empowerment and plastic-free environment.
Commissioner KK Yadav said, “The festival will witness various cultural programmes, apart from competitions for children, youth and senior citizens. Our aim is to ensure maximum participation of the locals.”
The festival, which will be inaugurated by Kirron Kher, Member of Parliament, at 11 am, on Friday, will host a slew of competitions such as Rose quiz, Rose Prince and Princess, Rose King and Queen. Fond of kite flying or painting? Be sure to be there, for there are competitions in these two fields as well.
This year, the festival will also be reflected in Sector 17. Yadav said they have set up a food park in Sector 17 along the underpass to lure people into utilising the pricey stretch that was thrown open recently but does not see much footfall.
Some of the competitions such as Rose Prince and Princess have also been moved to Sector 17. The musical nite too will be hosted in this area. As usual, the administration has requisitioned the services of a company to give Chandigarhians a chance to get a bird’s eyeview of their city with a helicopter ride starting from the Parade Ground at Rs.1700 for 7 minutes in the sky.
The chopper will fly over the Leisure valley, Kansal, Sukhna Lake and Sector 7 sports complex before returning to the Parade Ground.
The MC is at great pains to popularise the underpass, which is hosting an exhibition by a group named as ‘Group 21’. Manish Rao, a visual artist for the last 18 years, said, “The participants in the exhibition hail from different parts of india and together form a group named ‘Group 21’. Our main aim is to facilitate direct communication between the artist and the public.’’
The Rose Festival will begin with the brass and pipe band competition followed by cultural programmes, folk dance competitions and Miss and Mr Rose competition. Day 2 will see a kite-flying competition, traditional dance and a competition for newly-wed couples. March 1, the last day of the competition, will see an on-the-spot painting competition, prize distribution function, a magic show and a live band performance.