Chief minister Virbhadra Singh inaugurated the five-day International Shimla Summer Festival at the historic Ridge here on Sunday evening. Speaking on the occasion, he said that the administration has been organising the annual Shimla Summer Festival for more than four decades and providing adequate platform to the artistes of the state to exhibit their talent, besides attracting tourists.
Shimla deputy commissioner Dinesh Malhotra, who is chairman of the Summer Festival Organising Committee, welcomed the chief minister and presented him a Himachali cap and a shawl, besides honouring former MP Pratibha Singh.
The chief minister also released a souvenir on the occasion and distributed prizes to the winners of the Shimla Art Festival, which was organised for the first time in the Summer Festival this year.
The rains that lashed Shimla on Sunday evening played a spoil sport and delayed the inauguration of the event by an hour which was earlier scheduled to start at 6.00 pm.
On Day-1, the star nite witnessed a performance by renowned Coke Studio artists Clinton Cerejeo, Sonu Kakkar and their band. Prior to the star nite, a cultural programme by a Himachali artiste was also performed.
On the occasion, schoolchildren of Gumma village of Shimla district presented a play on woman empowerment.
The festival commenced on Sunday under tight security with a number of CCTV cameras installed at the venue to keep a vigil on any mischief-makers.
The entire Ridge was divided into four zones that were placed under the security of about 300 police personnel, deployed at various points.