Pune festival starts tomorrow, ice-skating event major draw
In its 24th avatar, the annual Pune Festival will have a national-level skating event as added attraction. The festival will kick off on September 19 and conclude on September 29. Held to promote cultural activity, the festival had earlier hosted famous artistes such as Pt Bhimsen Joshi, Pt Ravishankar, Asha Bhosale, Jagjit Singh.
Besides cultural activities, the year's celebrations will have an inter-state ice-skating championship on September 22-23. Over 100 national-level skaters are expected at the ice-skating rink built by the Netherlands company, Ice World, and will feature individual, speed-skating and figure-skating events.
"This is the first time a national level skating event is taking place in Pune. We're expecting participation from across the nation," said Raju Dabhade, working president of the Ice Skating Association of India. A 'Sufi Sangeet' concert by the Warsi Brothers, again a first at the fest, will be held on September 26. Actor Hema Malini will perform the Mahalaxmi ballet at the inaugural function on September 19, the organisers said. A new feature this year is the 'Bihu Dance' by North-Eastern students in the city.
"We are also excited about the Lavani and Mujra fusion performance on September 28 by Varsha Usgaonkar, Urmila Kanetkar, Bhargavi Chirmule and Tejaswini Lonari," said Krishnakant Kudale, chief co-coordinator of the festival.
Plays, concerts, talent shows, boxing and golf tournaments and a vintage car and motorcycle rally will be part of the event jointly organised by citizens, the Pune Festival Committee, and the tourism department.
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