PESHAWAR, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News – 24th Jan, 2021 ) :Preparations kicked off for the smooth conduct of the most awaited Kumrat Snow and Culture Festival in February this year in scenic Kumrat valley in Dir Upper, Deputy Commissioner Dir Upper Shahab Hamid Yousafzai told APP on phone here on Sunday.
He said last year, the same festival was called off because of COVID-19 and hopefully this year in February the festival would be organized in befitting manners with the collaboration of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Culture and Tourism Authority (KP-CTA).
The event was aimed at promoting winter tourism in the picturesque Kumrat valley and attracting tourists to the scenic spots of the province, he said. The festival would feature jeep and horse races, snow rugby, snow wrestling, snow race, snow art, snow ball fighting, snow culture lighting, kite flying and colours competitions, skating, painting and other activities, he added.
Traditional music, cultural dance and fashion shows are also part of the festival to entertain tourists and visitors, Mr. Shahab said. He said Kumrat was one of the scenic sites in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa where a large number of tourists used to come to visit in summer. He said this year the festival was being organized in winter as it has become more attractive after the recent heavy snowfall. “We are making things quickly so as to keep-on the attraction of snow,” Mr. Yousafzai informed.
Organizing the event in the winter season, he said, was aimed at attracting more and more tourists to the beautiful spots of the province and present a soft image of the people to the outer world. He said several events, including Swat Snow Marathon, Malam Jabba Winter Sports Festival, Galiyat Snow festival, International Snowboarding competitions, Hindukush Snow Sports and Madaklasht festival and zip-lining had been arranged during the winter to boost tourism in the scenic valleys of the province. These festivals, he said, had attracted a large number of tourists, both international and domestic, to the serene spots in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
He said, social activist and Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf local leader, Anwar Ali, from Byar, and District Sports Officer Dir Upper (DSO) Mukhtiar Hussain, have been nominated as focal persons for the festival. Both have played a key role to convince Managing Director Tourism, Junaid Khan, on organizing a sports and cultural festival in the picturesque Kumrat valley to promote tourism in the winter season.
DC Dir Upper Shahab Hamid Yousafzai said that Dir bazaar, a gateway to Kumrat Valley. He said they have taken the decision for the larger interest of the people albeit hundreds of spectators would be there besides ensuring following of SOPs issued by the provincial govt. He said this year the district administration with the strong support of KP-TCA had made all arrangements for the smooth sailing but for the prevention and protection of the people it was decided to ensure compliance of SOPs against coronavirus.
When contacted, DSO Mukhtiar Hussain informed that hundreds of players would be short-listed for the various snow games including snow wrestling, snow art, horse racing, snow racing, snow culture lighting, snow ball fighting, culture dancing, culture fashion show, motor racing, snowboarding, and horseback riding. He said besides the players adequate arrangements would be made for local and foreign tourists.
He said it was also decided to showcase locally made handicrafts, horse and cattle show and other colourful events including football, cricket, volleyball, tug of war, snow volleyball, athletics, kabaddi on snow, ice hockey, skating, local games sakhay, archery, and guli danda.
He said the visitors would also enjoy local food alongside food stalls would be set up for ensuring provision of food facilities to players, local and foreign tourists in the festival. The festival is also featuring snow jeep races, traditional music, cultural dance and cultural fashion show to entertain tourists and visitors, he informed.