Gangtok, Jan 17
A mega tourism extravaganza, Sikkim Red Panda Winter Carnival 2019 was formally inaugurated by the Tourism & Civil Aviation Minister Ugen T Gyatso Bhutia here at MG Marg on Thursday. The annual popular tourism festival of Sikkim has been kicked off with series of cultural, traditional, art and other activities at different venue at in and around Gangtok.
The opening of the carnival marked with the beating the Chabrung, a traditional musical drum, and releasing of doves for peace and prosperity by the Tourism Minister, who then declared the opening of the three-day long carnival. The Sikkim Red Panda Winter Carnival is an annual event of Tourism & Civil Aviation Department to showcase the rich culture, tradition and heritage of Sikkim and to provide a wider platform to local talents of Sikkim to showcase their talents in different fields.
The carnival also having the participation of delegates and artists from Bhutan, Nepal, Gorkhaland Territorial Administration and Gangjong Doeghar Kalimpong, who will be showcasing their culture, tradition and handicraft and handlooms in these three days of the carnival.
Sikkim Food Festival in various hotels and restaurants in the capital and Sikkim Film Festival at Manan Kendra are some other highlights of the carnival. Likewise, Institute of Hotel Management Sajong in East Sikkim has organised a three-day basic programme on preparation of puddings, salads, mocktails and fruit carving at Hotel Mount Jopuno and live demonstration by local artisans under the aegis of the Directorate of Handicrafts and Handlooms, display of organic products at Manan Kendra, kids entertainment corner, morning fitness programme, fashion shows and DJ Nights are other some major attractions of the carnival. The carnival also has the performances by local bands and artists in all these three days. Sikkim Tourism Development Corporation has arranged helicopter joy ride during the carnival.
Earlier in his welcome address, Tourism & Civil Aviation Department Secretary, TT Bhutia mentioned that Tourism Department organised the winter carnival to offers a wide range of cultural, art and recreational activities for children, youths and families of the State and tourists in the State. HE stated that the vision of the Chief Minister to make Sikkim a year round tourist destination the carnival showcases the rich culture, tradition and heritage of Sikkim and also provides platform to unheard and unseen promising local talents from all corners of the State.
The inaugural function also witnessed Saraswati Vandana by students of Remanti Sangeet Academy, Gangtok and performances by artists of Gangjong Deoghar, Kalimpong, Taal Music Academy, Namchi and G# School of Performing Arts Gangtok.
The inaugural function concluded with the vote of thanks by Tourism & Civil Aviation Department Special Secretary, Namrata Thapa, who is also the Chairperson of Sikkim Red Panda Winter Carnival 2019.
After the inaugural function, the Minister accompanied by other guests visited stalls at MG Marg and New Market. On the occasion, the Minister also unveiled a five-foot tall statue of the State animal, Red Panda, which is also the official mascot of the Sikkim Red Panda Winter Carnival at MG Marg.
Speaking to media persons, Tourism & Civil Aviation Minister, Mr Bhutia mentioned that the carnival has been organised with series of activities at different venues of the capital. He added that the carnival has the delegates and artists from Bhutan, Nepal, Gorkhaland Territorial Administration and Gangjong Doeghar Kalimpong along with the performances by local artists and groups. He stated that Rojgar Mela and ongoing Janta Melas in the State was also festival for the people of Sikkim. He said, “One Family, One Job scheme [Rojgar Mela] is the first step towards the first world and it itself a carnival and let’s all celebrate it,” he said. He added that the tourist’s inflow in the State has gone high to manifolds from 7 lakhs every year in 2014 to present inflow of 25 lakhs every year. He mentioned that the State government has now been working hard to the reach the target of 50 lakhs tourists every in year in the State and looking forward the reach the target very soon.
The inaugural function was followed by series of performances by guest artists and local groups throughout the day at the main venue at MG Marg. The evening programme has witnessed the performance by ‘Her Illegal Practice’ and Girish & the Chronicles and DJ night infront of Star Hall.