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Of lights, Santa hats and good cheer: Kolkatans reflect festive spirit in style

Kolkata: With Park Street and other corners of the city being decked up with dazzling lights, the city dwellers are all set to soak in the Christmas spirit. Majority of Kolkatans were already on the streets on Sunday evening bringing in the festivities with their family, friends and loved ones.
Chief Minister, Mamata Banerjee is expected to attend the midnight mass and participate in Christmas carol at St Paul's Cathedral in the city. Park Street has always been the favourite destination of people during Christmas and New Year.
After Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee inaugurated the Christmas festival at Allen Park, thousands bundled up in woolen dresses thronged Park Street and Bow Barracks on the Christmas Eve.
A series of cultural events will be organised at the carnival to be held at Allen Park during Christmas. Restaurants to remain crowded during the entire festive period. On Sunday, most of the restaurants witnessed a staggering footfall with many keeping them open beyond their scheduled time.
During this time of the year, the entire stretch between the intersection of Park Street and JL Nehru Road and Allen Park, extending further till Rafi Ahmed Kidwai Road are illuminated with glittering lights. Thousands of people prefer to take a stroll along Park Street as it looks magical with the blue and golden lights.
While year-end revellers started indulging in fun by visiting popular food joints and pubs, with cakes and drinks flying over the counter, many others who otherwise have busy schedules spent quality time with their kids at some of the star hotels in the city.
Sarbani Ghosh, a resident of Kasba who came to the see the illumination in Park Street along with her husband and a six-year-old daughter said: "It feels great to take part in the Christmas festival in Park Street which has turned into a major event of the city. Like Durga Puja, the Christmas festival also witnesses a huge footfall now-a-days. Even our child does not want to go back home after she sees the ambience and lighting in Park Street."
With Christmas frenzy all around, the regional meteorological office in Alipore predicted that the temperature may see a dip in next few days. The winter chill was interrupted for some time due to the Western disturbances. The mist that remains in the early morning air also causes some interruptionKolkata police have made adequate security arrangement on Christmas. To check any untoward incidents, there has been an additional deployment of police force in the city. There will be 2,000 additional police personnel on the roads while 500 more forces would be deployed on Monday. Majority of the force deployed will remain in Park Street and places around it. Police officers in the rank of deputy commissioners will be posted in Park Street and other important points to maintain law and order in the area. Detective department officers have been roped in to keep a tab on the crowd. There will be restrictions on traffic movement.
The traffic movements were restricted in Park Street from 4 pm till 11 pm on Sunday. There has also been adequate security arrangement at the city's churches. Around 11 watch towers have been erected to keep a tab on the revellers and 15 help centres have been set up at different places. As many as 14 quick response teams have been deployed for maintaining law and order, besides 26 trauma care ambulances and 20 heavy radio flying squads. Around 88 police pickets have been installed at different locations on Sunday.
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