Volunteers admire display of their sweet stall.
Volunteers admire display of their sweet stall.

 Hyderabad: A festive atmosphere pervaded the sprawling Parade Grounds since Saturday morning. Unlike the massive turnout that one gets to witness during the Republic Day parade, here, there was a marked difference on this particular day.

There was a sizeable presence of foreigners as the ambitiously carved third edition of the International Kite Festival began on a colourful note. The kite festival was inaugurated by Telangana Minister of Tourism Azmeera Chandulal, Deputy Chief Minister Mohammad Mahmood Ali and Legislative Council Chairman K Swamy Goud.

Around 45 to 50 professional kite-flyers drawn from around a dozen countries vied with those coming from nearly 25 States much to the delight of the onlookers standing at the other side of the barricades.

The foreign element came with the participation of professionals from Korea, Sri Lanka, Japan, Taiwan and Spain, to name a few. It was a sight to behold as each ‘team’ flew its own versions of kites. The names, sizes and shapes were as enterprising as one could get- Ring Roller, dragon, caterpillar, centipede, gilder, cartoon characters, teddy bear, national flag, winged wonders and octopus.

This time around the concept behind the show was a noble one, the 2018 festival has been aptly themes “Educate a girl-child and she will change the worl”’ under the banner “Fly for a cause”.

The visitors (some fortunate ones could participate in a space away from the main venue) were ‘overwhelmed’ by the colourful show, the cultural show that followed and the illuminated kites flying at night. The weekend came as the perfect backdrop as people preferred kite festival for an exciting outing.    

The final word went to Tourism and Cultural Secretary B Venkatesham who was “delighted at the response from the flyers and the public”. He said “inspired by the response to the earlier two editions, this time we gave a desi touch by allowing local kite flyers to hog the limelight. It is a good augury that approximately a lakh people watched the first of the three-day festivity. The turnout is bound to double on Monday for a befitting commemoration of the Sankranti festival”.