Street musicians, food galore in 8th Kolkata Christmas Festival

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Kolkata, Dec 18  The 8th edition of Kolkata Christmas Festival will kickstart on December 21 with buskers (street musicians) regaling the audience for the first time while a smaller version of the fest will be held at seven other places in the state, an official said here on Tuesday.

“This is the 8th edition of Christmas Festival with special attractions. Also, we are taking this festival to seven other places like Darjeeling, Kalimpong, Kurseong, Jalpaiguri, Bandel, Chandannagar and Krishnanagar for the first time,” Atri Bhattacharya, Principal Secretary, Tourism, Home and Hill Affairs Department said.

Like every year, the Festival will be inaugurated by Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on December 21 at Allen Park in Park Street and will continue till December 26.

The churches in the districts will be illuminated with attractive Christmas lighting and hold various cultural events, organisers said.

“Christmas carols, choirs, individual performances, bands and entertainers will mark the first three days of the festival. On Christmas day, buskers will be performing at the stretch outside Allen Park,” M.S. Calvert, an MLA who represents the Anglo-Indian community said.

The street will be illuminated like every year and the audience will be treated with live street music from 4-9 p.m. Kolkata Police Band will perform on December 26.

City-based playback singer Usha Uthup, Shane Hyrapiet, rock/folk band Krosswindz are some of the many performers to perform at Allen Park, Calvert said.

Mentioning about the gastronomic delight, Vijay Dewan, Managing Director of Park Hotel said: “This year, there will be 26 food stalls on Park Street and another 10 stalls at Allen Park. All the 36 stalls will be changed every day and different cuisine can be enjoyed from December 21-23”.

“We are trying to promote the season of festival in Kolkata starting right from Durga Puja and make it a tourist destination. Be it Durga Puja or Christmas, it is no longer limited to a religious programme, it is a coming together of communities in the state,” Bhattacharya said.

There will also be an array of other cultural performances from December 27-30 managed by Information and Cultural Affairs department.

The Tourism Department, Kolkata Municipal Corporation and Kolkata Police will oversee the security and everything else during the festival. – IANS

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