SHILLONG: As Shillong prepares for the grand return of its renowned Cherry Blossom Festival in November, Chief Minister Conrad Sangma further stocked the flames of excitement on Thursday.
Taking to a popular social networking platform, the Chief minister, who is also an ardent music lover, shared his enthusiasm about much-loved Irish singer-songwriter Ronan Keating, who is slated to headline the three-day festival on November 19.
“This year’s Shillong Cherry Blossom Festival is all set to resonate with the soulful tunes of Ronan Keating. He has something exceptional in store for Shillong and eagerly anticipates the presence of his fans and music enthusiasts from the region. Get ready for a burst of entertainment, melodies, and cultural richness during the #CherryBlossomFestival. Let’s rejoice together!” posted the Chief Minister.
Renowned for his journey with the popular band Boyzone and his successful solo career, Keating is known for his hits such as “When You Say Nothing At All” and “If Tomorrow Never Comes”, among others.
Earlier on August 14, Tourism Minister Paul Lyngdoh had mentioned that this year, the main event will unfold in the scenic backdrop of Ri-Bhoi; though the precise venue is yet to be unveiled, adding an element of anticipation to the affair.
The festival, which was cancelled last year following the Mukroh firing incident, is expected to host close to 90,000 visitors this year, the organisers revealed. In 2021, the Cherry Blossom festival saw an impressive footfall of 45,000 over the course of three days.
The festival’s success story continued in 2022, as the 2021 edition secured three accolades at the esteemed Wow Awards Asia 2022. Held on August 19 and 20 at Mumbai’s Jio World Convention Centre, the festival triumphed in the categories of “Festival of the Year-Art/Culture/Lifestyle” – Gold, “Best Tourism Event” – Gold, and “Concert of the Year” – Silver.
With an eye on boosting Meghalaya’s reputation as a premier tourist destination, Tourism Minister Lyngdoh had also unveiled an exciting calendar of events beginning October 12.