As compared to last year, the India International Cherry Blossom Festival in Shillong, Meghalaya, saw three times the footfall this year. The 2nd edition of the festival was held from November 8 to November 11, 2017. Around 15 different cultural programs were organised at Wards Lake and Polo Ground which were lined with pink and white cherry blossoms trees.
Prior to the festival, there were fears that the cherry blossoms wouldn’t bloom as none of the cherry trees in the cluster at Polo Ground blossomed. With an erratic rainfall pattern and a huge difference in day and night temperatures, the organisers were unsure if they would receive the kind of footfall the festival had in the first edition. The cherry blossoms require a certain drop in the temperature in order to bloom.
Despite this, the number of visitors at Polo Ground numbered to 60,000 on all four days as compared to 20,000 in 2016. The fee collection at the venue also doubled.
— Travelling Slacker (@Travellingslack) November 14, 2017
The state Forest and Environment Secretary, A Mawlong told PTI,
There were 35,556 adults and 1,343 children who visited the Wards Lake during the four-day festival period, and a total of Rs 3.74 lakh was collected as entry fees.
The festival was organised by the Imphal-based Institute of Bio-Resources and Sustainable Development along with the Forest and Environment Department of Meghalaya.
For the next year, the organisers have planned to take technical help from Japan, where the cherry blossom festival takes place in spring, to predict the blooming phase of the cherry trees.
Source: Northeast Today