Bhubaneswar: The opening day of the 2nd edition of .FEST was a stunning success as more than fifteen thousand citizens and visitors flocked to the IDCO fairgrounds on Sunday for an evening of fun.
The first day of the festival of festivals witnessed a thrilling lineup of curtain-raising music and dance performances; with some of the most popular celebrities gracing the event. The cultural festival brings an experience like never before for the people of Odisha with an abundance of Fun, Food, Entertainment, Stories or Trails from 15th to 29th January 2023.
Speaking to the public on the first day of the event, Naveen Patnaik, Chief Minister, Odisha said, “This is a moment of glory for Odisha, we are experiencing an ecstatic evening of honor here. India and the world are present in Odisha, and let’s celebrate together with all our hearts and minds. Bhubaneswar is deeply honored to host the FIH Men’s Hockey World Cup tournament for the second consecutive time, where people from 16 countries and around the world come here to enjoy every bit of our city.
The tone for the evening was set as the event got off to a good start with performances from Disha Patani, Guru Randhawa and Black Swan bringing thrilling magic to the stage. One of the most anticipated events of the day was the International Food Festival featuring global cuisine from 16 countries participating in the 2023 FIH Hockey Men’s Worldcup.
With visitors young and old enjoying popular cuisines from different states of India and enjoying delicacies from Odisha. As part of the cultural extravaganza, the Night Bazaar/Flea Market brightened up Bhubaneswar’s winter evenings and provided a remarkable stage for regional artists, start-ups, artists, creators and creators to showcase their products.
The flea market set up with the aim of promoting the handloom and handicrafts of Odisha turned out to be a spectacular crowd pleaser with over 120 plus homegrown products making it a shopping feast for the visitors.
The distinguishing feature of the .FEST was Sebbe-Au-Ebbe (Then & Now), a photo exhibition that showcased the glorious urban/urban history of Bhubaneswar, one of Independent India’s first planned cities, along with the first of its kind uniquely curated experience trails around the city of Bhubaneswar, additionally offering visitors the opportunity to experience the Bhubaneswar Festival of Storytelling (BhuFesSto), specially curated for children and the elderly to keep alive the great saga of local literature, poetry and storytelling.
Offering the experience of a fortnight long festival of festivals, .FEST was first put together in 2018. The previous edition of .FEST witnessed a huge success with millions of Bhubaneswar residents and others from all over the world including the best hockey players, together with international and national media. This year, the visitors can experience itineraries through the city of Bhubaneswar, visitors can also experience the Bhubaneswar Festival of Storytelling (BhuFeSto), specially curated for children and the elderly to keep alive the great saga of local literature, poetry and storytelling.
On day 2 of the .FEST, spectacular performances will again take place in a renewed and engaging avatar, to the delight of those present. Priya Malik, Navraj Hans, Harshdeep Kaur and Dipti Rekha Padhi present soulful Sufi melodies. The 15-day festival starts at 5 pm and continues until 12 midnight.