The annual Pokhara Street Festival began amid much fanfare on Thursday. This is the 19th edition of the street festival and it covers three kilometers’ area on the streets of lake city. Every year, Restaurant and Bar Association of Nepal (REBAN) hosts Pokhara Street Festival to bid adieu to the passing year and to welcome the coming New Year.
The five-day long festival attracts domestic and foreign tourists alike. Visitors from as far away as Kathmandu, Chitwan, Butwal, Bhairahawa and Lumbini, among other places throng Pokhara for the festival every year. Talking about the festival, Vice-president of REBAN Laxman Baral said, “The street festival has helped to cover the loss that the local entrepreneurs incur during holiday season. The fest has also become a part of Pokhara’s identity as it adds to the city’s vibrancy during New Year celebrations.”
Meanwhile, musical performances by singers Pashupati Sharma, Sumitra Lama, Prajapati Parajuli and Parbati GC, among other lok dohori singers kept the visitors entertained on the first day of the festival. Likewise, performances by bands such as Shadows and Inflame along with other local bands warmed the visitors during the cold evening at the street festival, informed Yogesh Bahadur Bhattarai, one of the coordinators for the festival.
Moreover, the second day of the festival saw boat competition where Swimming Pool Ghat won the first place, Barahi Ghat ‘E’ won the second place and Barahi Ghat ‘C’ secured the third position. The winners received cash prizes of Rs 15,000, Rs 10,000 and Rs 5,000, respectively.
Likewise, visitors enjoyed various games like ‘waiter race’ at Hallanchowk and ‘tug of war’ at Gaurighat on Saturday, third day of the festival, according to Lok Gurung, sports coordinator for the festival. The first and second day of the festival saw hundreds of visitors where an orange exhibition organized by Chhetriya Krishi Nirdeshanalaya became the most visited stall. Agricultural products from Kaski, Syanjha, Parbat, Tanahu, Lamjung and Gorkha are also available at the festival.
On the third day, musical performances by singer Komal Oli, Samjhana Bhandari, Krishna Kafle and Purushottam Neupane, among others, thrilled the visitors, while Sabin Rai is scheduled to perform on the fourth day of the festival.