Rains could not dampen the spirit of city residents and tourists at the 43rd Rose Festival, as irrespective of the delay in the inauguration of the event on Friday, the visitors were seen taking a stroll in the garden and enjoying the variety of roses on display.
With “National Integration” being the theme of the festival, many folk dance artists entertained the tourists at the entrance with their dance forms and music. Keeping up with their love for photography, people were seen clicking selfies and taking pictures of flowers and artists.
Among the visitors were two friends from France, Christele Colombier and Jean Marc, who felt fortunate to be in City beautiful. “We were here to attend a marriage. Luckily, I got to know about the Rose Festival through newspapers and we came to see it. We are enjoying taking pictures. The carnations are simply beautiful,” said the French tourists.
The flower arrangement competition saw extensive participation by the city residents, schools and children. Simmi Malhotra, who has been participating in this for the last 11 years, won prize for the 11th time. However, she was a little unhappy with the arrangements. “The weather spoiled everything. There was nobody to help us and I guess they were not prepared for it. But at the end, it feels great on winning,” said Simmi, a Chandigarh resident.
A couple from Germany was seen engrossed clicking pictures of the roses and statues adorned with flowers. Talking about their experience Karin Grass, the wife, said, “We love roses. Someone told us about the Rose Garden and the Rose Festival and we are here.” said Karin Grass.
However, Aanchal, a Panchkula resident, who came here with her friends, did not find anything interesting this time. “I have been a regular visitor. But this time, I did not find anything interesting. It’s all the same,” she said.
Similar were the views of Indu Bala and Poonam Negi, students of Panjab University. “The Panjab University Rose Festival was much better. Some of the flowers are dull. There is nothing interesting and the standard has also declined. We think they should show something new now,” said the duo.
Meanwhile, the brass and pipe band competition saw a participation of six bands from Jalandhar, Pinjore, Ramgarh and Chandigarh. The fancy floral hats – 70 in number – also lured the youngsters.
Events on February 21:
· Rose Prince & Princess competition
· Photography competition
· Traditional Folk dance of various states
· Kite flying competition
· Rose King & Rose Queen (senior citizen)
· Programme by Students of Blinds Society, Chandigarh
· Musical evening
Events on February 22:
· On the Spot Painting Competition
· Traditional Folk Dance of various states
· Magic show
· Closing ceremony & prize distribution
· Musical evening