Pokhara Street Festival to usher in New YearPokhara is set to usher in the New Year by getting the party started early as it is hosting the 19th Street Festival. Tourists and locals will be able to enjoy the festivities from Thursday.
Pokhara is set to usher in the New Year by getting the party started early as it is hosting the 19th Street Festival. Tourists and locals will be able to enjoy the festivities from Thursday.
The five day extravaganza is organised by Restaurant and Bar Association Nepal (Reban).
Ahead of the festival kickoff, domestic tourists have started arriving in Pokhara to join the New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day celebrations. More are expected to arrive on Friday and Saturday. This surge in tourist numbers have boosted the room occupancy of the hotels in Pokhara’s Lakeside by up to 80 percent, said Ganesh Bhadur Thapa, secretary of Reban. “The hotels at Lakeside are expected to be fully occupied during the fest,” he added.
Reban is aiming to go all out for this year’s festival, by making it more attractive and leaving previous festivals in the dust. They want to bring locals and tourists together to showcase Pokhara’s diverse offerings.
This period is considered an off season for tourism in Nepal as foreign tourists leave to celebrate Christmas and New Year with their family and friends. While foreign tourists leave, domestic tourists come in droves to the popular tourist destination during this period.
“Mostly domestic tourists from all over the country will be attending the festival,” said Thapa. Indian tourists may also be present for the New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.
Reban first started the event 19 years ago. For the first four years, the celebration was limited to a food festival and Reban street festival. However, after the fourth edition, it was expanded to Pokhara Street Festival. Most visitors are attracted by the music, food and fun at the festival.
New restaurants and hotels are also inaugurated during the fest to attract visitors as they consider that to be the best time to open their restaurants and hotels.
The street festival will be spread over nearly 5km, with more than 500 stalls selling handicraft products, oranges, local products, garments and more. There will restaurants serving various kinds of cuisines as well. Various cultural programmes from different parts of Nepal and concerts have also been planned to entertain visitors throughout the festival. Hotels will be offering special package for visitors and tourists during the festival.
There are around 16,000 hotel rooms and 200 restaurants in Lakeside, Pokhara. Organisers are expecting over 500,000 visitors during the festival.
The street festival is sponsored by Gorkha Brewery.