31 December 2018
Bhubaneswar: 2018 in Odisha was marked by a number of events that became the talk of the town for their participation, sheer brilliance and presentation. While most of these events were held in the concluding two months of the year, it will not be wrong to term this year as the grandest and most luxurious in the history of the State.
The top 5 events which made a mark this year in Odisha are:
1. Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup
The entire World’s eyes were on Kalinga Stadium from November 27- December 16 when the Hockey World Cup unfolded amidst the frenzy of Odisha’s die-hard hockey fans. With world-class sportspersons, top Bollywood stars and an extravagant setup, the World Cup remained the buzz for most of the year.
Bhubaneswar went through a transformation for the event that put Odisha on the World map. From buses to public sharing bicycles and from wall arts to laser shows, the capital city became unrecognizable in 2018, a change that was much appreciated by the foreigners.
Meanwhile, the energetic and nail-biting matches in the evening also provided a much needed recreation for people in the end of the year. The champion Belgium team praised Odisha for hospitality before leaving for their home country. In a nut shell, it was all well that began and ended well and Odisha and its people have obviously carved a niche in global arena proving its ancient mantra ‘Atithi Devo Bhava’ worthwhile.
2. Make In Odisha
The State Government’s flagship biennial global investors' summit ‘Make In Odisha’ took place in smart city from November 11-15 and grabbed eyeballs of industry captains and the public alike. The State machinery had put its shoulder to the wheel of this juggernaut to make it a watershed moment in Odisha's industrialization journey. From hybrid robots to leading industrialists, then second edition of Make In Odisha was definitely a memorable event of the year.
From early 2018, Odisha Chief Minister had started visiting other States to invite investors by organizing grand road shows. The businessmen stood true to their words and graced the conclave with their presence proving that Odisha is an investor’s dream with all resources at hand. The conclave was marked by formidable partnerships, empowering stories and crores of investments.
3. Bhubaneswar City Festival (.FEST)
For the first time, Bhubaneswar witnessed a city festival named, .FEST, that was marked by international food stalls and musical performances by Bollywood bigwigs Vishal-Shekhar, Shankar Ehsaan Loy, Farhan Akhtar, Shreya Ghoshal, Shaan and Sona Mohapatra. IDCO Exhibition Ground was lit up from December 1-16 with a slew of ticketed and non-ticketed entertainment programs that brought warmth to the citizens of Bhubaneswar on the chilly winter evenings.
4. Bali Jatra
One might wonder why Bali Jatra made it to the list as it is an event that occurs every year. But this year’s Bali Jatra was special. In view of the Hockey World Cup, Cuttack Municipal Corporation (CMC) announced that the event was going for be held for 11 days instead of a week and a spin-off affair was organized at Kuakhai as well. After a week of face-off between traders and CMC over land allocation, the event finally took off smoothly on November 22.
Apart from the lip-smacking delicacies and the run-of-the-mill shops, here are some side stories from the annual affair that caught the attention of OMMCOM NEWS.
5. Ekamra Walks & Story Telling Fests
Bhubaneswar and its timeless charm, tradition, history and culture can be best explored by the heritage walks jointly sponsored by BDA, BMC and Odisha Tourism in which the people get guided walkthroughs which re-invent the way we connect to our culturally rich city and take its story forward. Launched in 2017, the walks crossed its hundredth edition in November this year and were also graced by US Ambassador Kenneth Juster.
In a first of its kind initiative, an International Storytelling Festival was exclusively organized for children under the city festival “.FEST”. ‘BhuFeSto’ was curated by Bakul Foundation, a volunteering movement that has been leading efforts at reading promotion and storytelling across the State. The Festival was held from 6th to 10th December simultaneously at three locations across the city: Buddha Jayanti Park in Chandrasekharpur, Indira Gandhi Park opposite Secretariat and Kharavela Park near the historic Jain heritage site Khandagiri-Udayagiri from 2.30 PM to 7.30 PM.
Apart from the above-mentioned grand events, the yearly Konark festival, International sand art festival at Chandrabhaga and Toshali Crafts Mela were also organized that attracted a lot of tourists and locals alike. With such an action-packed 2018, denizens of Odisha now look forward to an even more exciting and extravagant 2019.