With the festive season just around the corner, elaborate plans are being made to transform the city of Colombo into a Tourism Wonderland from the 20th to the 23rd of December. Two signature events will take place in Colombo – Christmas Fest at the Independence Arcade from December 20 to 22 and Christmas Street at Green Path from December 21 to 23.
Sri Lanka Tourism, under the guidance of the Ministry of Tourism Development and Christian Religious Affairs, is making elaborate plans for the third edition of Christmas Fest which took the city by storm last December. The idea behind this unique event is to portray Sri Lankan food, culture, gems, handicrafts, tea, shopping and entertainment at one venue during the height of the tourist season. According to sources at Sri Lanka Tourism, this year’s Fest will be a bigger and better version of last year.
Christmas Fest is a concept of Tourism Development Minister John Amaratunga who having realized the absence of any organized tourism related event during the festive season when city hotels are filled with foreign tourists, decided to organize a multi-day event bringing together all tourism stake holders. The event is complemented with nonstop entertainment by leading pop groups and artistes, tri-forces bands, choral groups and cultural shows providing both local and foreign tourists a memorable experience.
To add spice to the proceedings, Christmas Fest will feature a gourmet food festival by 15 leading hotels and restaurants in Colombo with live demonstrations of different cuisines, giving visitors an opportunity to learn and experience Sri Lanka’s multi-dimensional culinary scene.
The international cuisine on offer will include Mongolian, Arabic, Chinese, Malaysian, Thai, Korean, Italian, Indian, Japanese, Indonesian and specialty desserts at a nominal rate. In addition, the Sri Lanka Tea Board will feature a tea tasting center with a display of the many varieties of tea available in the island.
A new addition this year is a special Christmas Zone in the environs of the Independence Arcade which will be organized by the Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation. The zone will feature several exciting attractions that have not been seen before in Sri Lanka, including a ‘snow city.’
A special double decker shuttle bus service organized by ‘Colombo City Tour’ will be available from selected Colombo hotels daily to and from both venues with live carols onboard.
Christmas Fest 2017 will create a Sri Lankan sense of celebration and spread the spirit of the season among locals, tourists, the diplomatic and expat communities while providing a unique platform for event based tourism promotion.
Christmas Street on the other hand will offer action packed entertainment from 2pm onwards till midnight for both tourists and locals alike. The daily entertainment lineup consists of top DJs, bands, a street food festival and a shopper’s paradise where some of the country’s biggest retailers will be offering mega seasonal discounts on everything from clothes to motor vehicles.