Pokhara is all set to celebrate 19th birthday of Pokhara Street Festival. It was in 2000A.D, the festival first commenced in the tourism hub of nation. Festival then has been a tradition, luring internal as well as international tourists. Celebrated with a slogan “sadakmai khau, sadakmai nachau, sadakmai ramau”, the program has developed as an integral part of off-season tourism in Pokhara.
Initially, began with a 1km long trail and a single day program, the program has now lengthened to 5 day long fiesta celebrated within a 3.5 km long festive trail. As in previous years the program is all set to heat the winter streets of Pokhara at the usual venue Lakeside. Organiser of the event, Reban is preparing for the event with various sub committees formed. Mr. Chau Bahadur Gurung, a long term resturant entrepreneur from Pokhara, has shouldered the responsibility of chairman and coordinator of the event. In the same context, we present this short interview with Mr Gurung:
-In the second year of chairmanship of Reban, how are you feeling coordinating this festival?
I believe my colleagues have handovered me a huge responsibility. In such a busy life full of hustle bustle, my friend’s belief on me has motivated me to work harder. Also watching events within and outside our country, i feel further motivated to organise a better and much successful event here. I believe, together we can easily fulfill our responsibility.
– Festival is getting closer. How are you moving ahead?
We have formed a 22 member management committee. Within this, we have formed several other sub committees and distributed our responsibilities. Recently we have completed our promotion program in Butwal, Bhairahawa Sauraha and Kathmandu . Now we are in final preparation and promotion stage of the program.
To be more specific, we have almost completed 90% of our work and the remaining work will conclude within few days.
– Events and festivals are frequent to Pokhara city. Why tourists/spectators should be part of Street Festival in particular? What is your events X-factor for promotion?
Festivals have been a fashion in recent times throughout the nation. To be unique is important nowadays. Our objective/ slogan itself is unique and a X factor of our event. It is certainly a unique experience to be part of street and enjoy with it, dance with it and dine with it. Moreover various famous artists are also performing to add extra flavor to the program.
Since we Nepalese love harmony, i think this festival has given a reason to celebrate among ourselves and with westerner as well in Christmas and new year festival. This certainly will strengthen our cross cultural bond.
Tourist in Nepal used to travel to Goa in India just to celebrate new years. Even nepalese had a trend to visit abroad to celebrate these festivals. I believe, our street festival has put an end to such trend and give a strong message that “Pokhara has it All”. And seemingly so the inflow of tourists is in increasing rate every year since the beginning.
At this point, i want to express my deepest gratitude to all media persons whom have played a significant role in promoting this event worldwide.
– Every year Reban tends to do something new. What “new” for this time?
We are focusing on cultural aspects. A cultural team each from seven province are going to be part of program which the Tourism board has assured to manage. Similarly we are talking with indian and chinese cultural team as well. Their will be folk music by popular artists during daytime and a pop concert by national and international artist during the evenings.
Also we have focused on promoting agricultural products as well. Our spectators can enjoy Orange festival along with Street festival. Orange stalls from 6 districts are going to be the part of the festival along with other agricultural products as well.
Similarly we have found a medical partner this time around. Medicity Hospital will provide free diabetes checkup to visitors throughout the event.
Food festival as usual with special discount is also an important part of the show.
-Such events are often accused ofying customers in the name of discount. Being an organizer, any explanation to this?
We have strictly directed against any such practices. Hotels are also discouraged to any form of price hikes. We will be trying our best to control such practice.
– What are security provision in the festival? How are you addressing spectators safety?
Peaceful and secure event is our primary goal and concern. For this more than 200 private security guards are hired to maintain peace and security throughout the festival. Local administration and security forces along with other security guards associated with Reban, clubs, health camps will be acting together to maintain peaceful environment. We are very grateful to all security personnel for helping us day night to make this event a succesa. Also we will be monitoring through CCtvs as well.
– What role is the festival going to play for tourism promotion and financial development?
Obviously the festival is aiding entire Pokhara city for financial development. Every occupation throughout the city comes to life with increasing people’s activity during festival. Tourism related industry like hotels, dare sports and agricultural industry in particular enjoys a boost due to more consumption. Groceries, transportation, fancy and apparel also experience a greater sales turnover. All in all, i believe the entire economy of Pokhara is significantly benefited by this festival.
-Finally, footnote to the event.
Local citizens, corporate houses, local politicians each and every of us have adopted this festival as our very own. This immense love is the reason we have reached to this successive 19th edition. Pokhara Street Festival is developed as a brand and this got possible only due to support from every Pokhrelis and our beloved spectators. I pledge all of you to keep on supporting such events.
And finally i request everyone to be a part of opening ceremony on 28th Dec and also i expect similar love and support as in previous years throughout the festival.