December 20, 2013
WB CM inaugurates Kolkata Christmas Festival
The Kolkata Christmas Carnival was inaugurated by Chief Minister Ms. Mamata Banerjee at Allen Park, Park Street today by turning all decorative lights on.
In her brief speech, the Chief Minister said, `unity in diversity exists all over Bengal. People of all faiths coexist here in peace and harmony`. She said, `people of Bengal celebrate Christmas irrespective of caste, creed. It is a festival of joy. It is a festival of spirit.' She asked the citizens to enjoy the festival, enjoy the food and soak in the festivities till 2 January, 2014. `Kolkata will lead the world. I am very happy. Our state is multi-talented. There is tolerance of faith,' she added.
Present at the ceremony were the Archbishop of Kolkata, His Excellency Thomas D'Souza and Trinamool Congress Chief Whip at Rajya Sabha Derek O`Brien among other dignitaries.
The West Bengal Tourism department, in association with the Apeejay group, is hosting the carnival for the third year in a row. The carnival will also stretch between Free School Street and Camac Street crossing. To satisfy the gastronomic cravings of tourists and visitors, 25 food counters will be set up in front of the Park Mansion. The food stalls will serve mouth-watering delicacies from different states, be it North Indian, South Indian and Gujrati dishes or delicacies like momos and thukpas from North-Eastern states. There will be elaborate spread of Bengali sweets as well.
Starting from today evening, there will be live performances at the venue. The Chief Minister will be inaugurating the festival for the first time. She will light up the entire Park Street. There will be live music, most of which will be catholic carol singing.
On December 21 and 22, city-based bands will play popular chartbusters. Karaoke championship will also be a part of the carnival to enthrall the crowd. This year Kolkata will witness a Snow Lion dance and a Dragon dance show, which will be performed by school children. Kolkata Police band will perform on December 23.
On December 25, at 9 am, `Run for Clean and Healthy Park Street` has been organized, starting from Park Street.
A special attraction this year will be the Israeli food festival, to be organized by the Society for Rejuvenation of Park Street Kolkata (Spark). The carnival will stretch till the beginning of the new year.
The Tourism Department has taken elaborate measures to ensure the true spirit of the festival. Also, proper security measures are also being ensured along with safety of women visitors and tourists. CCTVs will monitor every movement on the whole stretch.