HCMC hosts first river festival

By VNA   August 5, 2023 | 04:00 am PT
HCMC hosts first river festival
Aerial view of the Phu My Bridge over the Saigon River. Photo by Tran Ngoc Dung
A river festival opened on Friday in Ho Chi Minh City for the first time, with a series of cultural and entertainment activities related to the city's waterways for locals and tourists.

The three-day river festival aims to preserve and promote the city's culture and history, and make use of its waterways to boost the economy and tourism, in order to build the city's brand as a culturally rich riverside urban area.

Addressing the opening ceremony, Chairman of the municipal People's Committee Phan Van Mai highlighted that the city's rivers are an important part of the over 300 years of development of Saigon - Cho Lon - Gia Dinh - HCMC. Wharves, traditional craft villages, and markets along the rivers and canals have grown over the years, helping to form a unique identity for the region.

There are stalls selling local cuisine, fruits and specialties along Nhieu Loc – Thi Nghe Canal (the section between Dien Bien Phu and Thi Nghe bridges) in District 1 and Binh Dong Wharf in District 8.

There are also river boat tours, art performances in the evening, and activities that recreate the lives and culture of the locals of the city in the past.

The Bach Dang Wharf in District 1 features a traditional boat race, with participants from across HCMC and other provinces, and traditional folk games.

The Bach Dang Wharf and Nhieu Loc Canal also offer visually exciting watersport performances such as flyboards, water canoes, and boat sailing.

A key feature of the festival is Saigon – Tales of the River, a real-scene art performance to be held at 8 p.m. on Sunday on the Saigon River, which combines traditional stage materials with modern sound and light effects, creating unique experiences for viewers.

It will use 3D technology, a water music system and high power laser lights, among other modern twists, and features nearly 700 performers and artisans.

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