Organizers of the 20th Pokhara Street Festival hold a press conference in Pokhara on Friday. | Photo: Umesh Pun/Republica
POKHARA, Dec 1: The tourist city of Pokhara is all set to welcome New Year 2019 and bid farewell to 2018 by organizing the 20th edition of Pokhara Street Festival. The 5-day-long event will begin on December 28.
Restaurant and Bar Association of Nepal (REBAN) has started preparing for the street festival like in the previous years. For the past two decades, the city has been organizing street festivals to celebrate the New Year's Day with several activities along with Nepali cultural events.
Large numbers of domestic and foreign tourists reach Pokhara every year to celebrate the festival. In order to attract more tourists, the organizers have planned to organize a variety of cultural presentations.
From this year, visitors can experience additional international events during the festival. The organizers are showcasing Indian cultural show in coordination with the Indian Embassy, Korean cultural show in coordination with the South Korean Embassy, Chinese cultural show in coordination with Nepal-China Cultural Council and Japanese cultural show in coordination with Japan.
"Chinese citizens staying in Nepal used to participate and organize cultural procession during the festival in the past as well," Bhimsen Bhujel, chairman of REBAN, said. "However, this year will be the first time that other countries will also present cultural processions."
“This is not only a festival of the Lakeside. It contributes to promote the tourism industry of entire Pokhara," he said. "The idea of presenting foreign cultures will also help to strengthen cultural relations with other countries."
The street festival is one of the most prominent events held in Pokhara as it attracts both domestic and foreign tourists in hoards. This year, the festival is being hosted with the slogan 'Eat, Dance and Have Fun on the Streets'. The festival will feature various cultural activities such as lok dohori events, live musical performances, and traditional art exhibition, among others.
According to tourism entrepreneurs, such events contribute toward lengthening the stay of tourists. Currently, the average length of stay of tourists in Pokhara is two days.
Former president of REBAN, Chau Bahadur Gurung said that they were preparing to organize processions from all seven provinces of the country. "It will help to preserve and promote different cultures of the country," Gurung said. The street festival takes place every year along the three-kilometer-long stretch of Lakeside.