LUCKNOW MAHOTSAVA had a Kumbh-like crowd on Sunday. The organisers had expected this to happen and had opened the ticket counter as early as 9 am. By 3 pm, the roads near the Ambedkar Maidan started having congestion. By 5 pm the entire Jail Road, further up to the Alambagh crossing, witnessed intense traffic jam. But people continued to pour in droves.
The organisers expected tickets sale to cross over Rs 6 lakh. “It would be no surprise to us if the sales cross even the 7-lakh mark. But, it would be a pleasant surprise if it crosses 8 lakh,” said a tourism department staff at the ticket counters at Mahotsava entrance.
There were long queues at the ticket counter despite the fact that eight extra windows were being operated at the main gate. There were long queues at the main entry points to take entry after passing through metal detectors.
The last year’s record was Rs 5.9 lakh ticket sale on a single day on December 3. An all-time greatest Mahotsava sale in a single day was on December 5, 2004 when it recorded the sale of tickets worth Rs 8.07 lakh.
Since 12 noon, the food court was crowded like a busy mart with hungry people anxiously waiting for their turns to grab the table.
For this crowd, the food stall owners had started making preparations from 4 am onwards. They were ready to serve food and snacks from 10 am onwards. It was even more crowded at Fun-Fare area. It was Saturday that gave the hint about the Sunday. On Saturday, people started reaching Mahotsava from 10 am onwards while stall owners were not even prepared for the day. Saturday recorded the ticket sale worth Rs 3.76 lakh.
Lucknow Mahotsava looked like a true fare, as there was fun, frolic and noises everywhere.
Stall owners were pretty pleased with Sunday as it led to some good sales.
“It remains to be seen if this Sunday manages to beat the record sale of 2004. In the evening Shankar-Ehsan-Loy performance would pull in more crowd. Let’s see. We will be ready with the sales figures of Sunday early on Monday morning. Let us see,” said the official.