The Kolkata Christmas Festival – the signature event on Park Street that heralds the Christmas festivity with hymns, carols, music and food – will spill into the new year with the organisers planning to extend it from a week-long affair to a fortnight from this season.
Not just that, the festival venue is also undergoing an expansion of sorts with the Christmas and New Year theme lighting that decks up a section of Park Street now being extended to Chowringhee as well.
While the decorative lights were installed between Park Street-Chowringhee intersection and Allen Park, this year it will extend till Mullick Bazar to the east and continue along Chowringhee till St Paul’s Cathedral to the west.
To be inaugurated by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in the presence of Archbishop Thomas D’Souza and Bishop Ashoke Biswas at Allen Park, the festival will conclude on January 2 instead of December 25.
During the festival, popular city bands will per form at Allen Park in the evenings. To share the `Spirit of Christmas’, special choir performances will be held till Christmas day . Kolkata Police and Army bands will also perform at the venue.
On December 20, Sunday , school students will participate in a Christmas parade on Park Street. Cars and bikes will not be allowed on the street during the parade scheduled between 10am and noon. Also, cars will not be allowed on the street on Christmas day to encourage pedestrians.
Food, a big draw at past editions of the festival, will continue to be the crowd-puller with 40 stalls set up along Park Street to serve delicacies from various communities, including cakes, decorations and other Christmas goodies.