The 15th Durbarmarg Street Festival, which had been halted for two year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, was back on the streets of Durbarmarg on April 16, coinciding with the New Year 2079.
The festival covered the entire road from the statue of late king Mahendra to Narayanhiti Palace Museum the blooming blue mimosas. The festival featured around three dozen stalls including food stalls that presented items ranging from clothes to perfumes to handicraft items.
The festival also had performances by various artistes and bands like Bajra Group, Sur Sudha, Shristi KC, and Sambriddhi Rai.
It also featured giant inflatable bounce toys and play trains to entertain children along with a magician and some face painters to liven things up. Uddhab Dhakal, central co-ordinator of Durbarmarg Development Board, had expressed hope that the event would transform the dry economy of Durbar Marg into a happening market.
Businesses present in the festival had a renewed sense of hope and enthusiasm with the presence of a big crowd.
While the owners of Hills and Clouds, a clothing company, were satisfied with the crowd, the festival did not meet the crowd expectation of Mahalaxmi Shrestha of Deego Nepal, a handicraft company.
Saifu, an imitation jeweller, who used to attend the event before the pandemic as well, noted that there used to be bigger crowds previously. He praised the event for including handicrafts and local startups.
Ugen Tamang, a housewife who was enjoying the festival, had received a message from her SIM card company about it and thought it would be entertaining to pay a visit. Ashutosh Devkota, a student who was informed about the event from a newspaper, remarked that it did not meet his expectations, but felt it was a much-needed boost in tourism as he could see a lot of tourists. Central General Secretary of Restaurant and Bar Association Nepal Ekraj Adhikari, informed that only REBAN members were allowed to set up food stalls in the event. He emphasised on how they had been testing and tasting food for over a month for the festival. However, Aashish Chand, owner of Piro ani Mitho, a cafe that sold fire pani-puri and goldleaf burgers, said that he had been clueless till the morning that he had to set up a stall. – HNS