Shillong : People walk under cherry blossoms trees at a park in Shillong on November 14, 2023. (Photo: IANS)
Shillong, November 14 (IANS) The stage is set for the state of Meghalaya to host the 3-day ‘Shillong Cherry Blossom Festival 2023’ from November 17 as the streets and lanes of this picturesque hill station are draped in pink and white Cherry Blossom trees.
Officials said that singers, performers, tourists from various parts of the country and abroad are expected to participate in the annual event in huge numbers.
Meghalaya Tourism Minister Paul Lyngdoh said that there would be a footfall of 30,000 visitors per day which means that by the end of the event over one lakh visitors would enjoy the festival and natural beauty.
“Ninety per cent of these visitors are expected to be tourists from outside, both domestic as well as international travellers,” he told the media.
The festival offers a diverse range of activities, from cosplay competitions and beauty pageants to choir contests, graffiti and art installations, karaoke contests, a Ferris wheel, and a thrilling zipline.
The festival will be held at the RBDSA Sports Complex in Madan Kurkalang, Bhoirymbong in Ri Bhoi district, adjoining Assam.
Tourism Department officials said that the ‘Shillong Cherry Blossom Festival’ is a celebration of culture, art, and music, and this year’s edition is having an unforgettable medley of pop stars and DJs.
The artistes performing on the first day of the festival, November 17 – Sanam, Hybrid Theory, SURL, Kenny Musik, 4th Element, The Band Phantasm, DBRYN, Gwyneth, Dalariti, CYCO, Aminio, Dr Legend, Chevinia.
The artistes set to thrill the crowd on the second day include American singer NE-YO, Meba Ofilia, Pink Panda, Snow White, Rahul Rajkhowa, Street Stories – Banjop, Empirical Tribe – Tenny, Zethan, Ricaa Stella, Banker Kharkongor.
The last day of the festival will witness the much-anticipated performance from former Boyzone vocalist Ronan Keating, Jonas Blue, Lou Majaw, Blue Temptation, Da Minot, Nokpante, Rhem, Favian, WanjopSohkhlet, Banrap, Youngg Nate, Meban, Lamphrang, Toshan.
The Cherry Blossom or “Sakura” is the national flower of Japan, which is also a source of inspiration for the Japanese people, and India became the 28th country in the world had earlier been included in the Sakura Map.
In November 2016, scientist Dr Dinabandhu Sahoo, a professor at the Department of Botany under the University of Delhi (DU), who played a vital role in popularising the Cherry Blossom in Meghalaya and Manipur, took a leading role to organise India’s first “Cherry Blossom Festival” in Shillong which attracted thousands of people and subsequently it became an international event for the past eight years.