Bhubaneswar To Witness Return Of Festive Mood With 2nd Edition Of .Fest In January Next Year

Bhubaneswar: Odisha capital Bhubaneswar will witness the second edition of .Fest in January 2023 to celebrate the city as an urban tourist destination.

The decision in this regard was taken at a review meeting presided by Development Commissioner‐cum‐Additional Chief Secretary with senior officials from different departments on Sunday. It was decided to form an executive committee for city festival and beautification under the chairmanship of vice-chairman of BDA. Senior officials from BMC, Works department, DoT, DSYS, Police, BSCL, TPCODL, WATCO, NHAI and OFDC will be part of this committee.

Four major action points were identified and assigned to related government agencies as part of the preparation for .FEST and the makeover of the city. It was decided to improve the Priority Road Network (PRN) of around 80 km along major landmarks and priority areas.

Similarly, it was decided to ensure that no digging of roads would be undertaken by any agency or department especially WATCO, GAIL and internet service providers starting from December 1 without prior approval of the BMC. The elements like night bazar and city beautification works will be supported by Handlooms Textile & Handicrafts department and Odia language, Literature & Culture department.

Bhubaneswar had hosted the World Cup Hockey in 2018 with a dedicated city festival celebrating food, entertainment, art & trails. The city had witnessed festive occasion for the last time in 2018 before experiencing Fani in 2019 and COVID since 2020.

Hence, the second edition of .FEST is designed to celebrate city as an urban tourism destination. The fest will have components like photo exhibition and installations, city trails, Heritage Walks, International Food festival, Food Truck Carnival and flee night market to bring the festive vibe in the city for 15 days.

“Night bazaar and BhuFeSto (Bhubaneswar Story‐telling Festival) are going to enthrall the visitors from across the globe and help them know Odisha better,” said vice-chairman of BDA Balwant Singh. “We have planned to accommodate traditional performing art forms of Odisha along with music and band performances from the state to run for 15 days. There shall be weeklong star nights of various artists of international repute,” he added.

The meeting also had focus on organizing the STAMP (Street art and mural project) in a more holistic way by involving various art colleges in the city and state. It was decided to onboard artists of national and intrnational repute in consultation with Central & State Lalitkala Academy on things like development of art works, wall paintings, sculptures & murals, etc. at select public spaces.

“We are committed to make it a community driven festival from ideation to execution and urge the citizens of the city to own their own city festival,” Singh said.

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