Prior to the “Cherry Blossom Festival 2017” the Mukul Sangma led government had been facing criticism for the extravagant spend on the fourday multi-crore festival at a time when Meghalaya is reeling under financial crisis. There was plenty of criticism since the cherry refused to bloom especially inside Ward’s Lake. It is no doubt that this year, the pinkish and white cherries took its own time to bloom but critics must know that sometimes even science cannot predict nature. The Ward’s Lake which is the main attraction during this pink and white festival saw only a few of the cherry’s bloom but other parts of Meghalaya such as Upper Shillong, Laitkor, Golflink, Pyndengrei in Nongstoin West Khasi Hills saw plentiful of Cherry that did not fail to amaze its spectators.
During the inauguration on 8th November in Ward’s Lake, Aldous Mawlong the Secretary to the Government of Meghalaya decided that the show must go on, blossom or no blossom since tourists from around the country and abroad had already reached Shillong.
The Himalayan cherry blossom is a real sight to behold and grows wild in the Khasi Hills. The India International Cherry Blossom festival is yet another reason for drawing visitors and tourists to Meghalaya, the North-eastern State of India. The festival is set up around Shillong’s picturesque and legendary Ward’s Lake. The festival is being touted as the world’s only Autumn Cherry Blossom Festival which was held from 8th to 11th November 2017. The entire state became a live stage for music, dance and other performances. The festival featured a number of events such as guided night walk beneath illuminated cherry blossoms, a fashion show, live music gigs and a variety of stalls showcasing region’s cuisine, art, craft and wine. Rock concert, unplugged western music, traditional folk music, dance performances from all over the northern parts of India, choir performances, bicycle rallies, photography competitions, storytelling sessions of the world and local folktales are all the other attractions for the visitors.
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