The much-awaited Rose Festival took off on Friday after UT adviser KK Sharma inaugurated the event. A large number of visitors thronged the venue in the morning and participated in various events organised on the occasion.
Visitors at the fest gave a thumbs-up to the event, with most people appreciating the arrangements that had been put in place by the organisers. It is for the first time that the festival has been organised by the municipal corporation (MC) in association with the UT tourism department.
The fun-filled opening ceremony was marked by the releasing of balloons, performance of brass and pipe bands, folk dances by different states and display of other regional art forms.
The adviser to the administrator described the event, as one of the best flower festivals in the country.
He added that the ‘exhilarating environment’ created by participants and visitors was ‘highly appreciable’ to make the festival memorable. The main attraction on the inaugural day of festival was the 'fancy floral hat contest' that was open to all age groups.
The visitors were seen wearing colourful floral hats, while children were involved in making colourful hats in the garden. Attractive prizes were given to the best participants of this unique competition.
The adviser also released the 'rose folder' on the occasion. A folk dance competition was also held on the opening day of the festival. About 12 colleges and schools participated and in the category. The first prize of Rs 7,500 was won by Government College for Girls, Sector 11 and the second prize of Rs 5,000 was bagged by Guru Gobind Singh College, Sector 26.
In school category, the first prize of Rs 5,000 was won by Government School, Sector 10, while the second prize of Rs 3,000 was awarded to State Institute of Blind, Sector 26 and third prize of Rs 2,000 was bagged by Dev Samaj School, Sector 21.
With fresh and innovative competitions like floral hat contest and Mr & Ms Rose Chandigarh contest, the festival has had a good start. The semi finals of the Mr & Ms Rose contest was held at the main stage in the garden and the final round would place at Leisure Valley.
Inspector general of police PK Srivastava, DIG Alok Kumar, home secretary Anil Kumar, finance secretary VK Singh, Deputy Commissioner Brijender Singh, Commissioner Municipal Corporation Prerna Puri, Senior Deputy Mayor Darshan Garg, Additional Commissioner-I Sunil Bhatia, Additional Commissioner-II Lalit Siwach, other councillors, senior officers of administration and MC were present on the occasion.