PROFESSIONAL mountain climbers from Europe and South Africa will arrive Ondo State this weekend in preparation for this year’s special edition of the annual mountain climbing competition, popularly known as ‘Mare festival’ scheduled for 13 and 14 December 2013.
According to him, the foreign climbers will on arrival, join their local counterparts who have been preparing for the competition.
Akinmade, who is also the Chairman, Local Organising Committee of the event, reiterated the fact that the entire programme would be low-keyed adding that the late Commissioner for Culture and Tourism, Mr Deji Falae will also be celebrated in the course of the festival.
The statement added that amateur mountain climbers from the various local communities in the state would also participate in the event which will be observed by top officials of the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC).
It also stated that the 2013 edition of the annual fiesta would feature various local and international professional artises who had packaged interesting songs to make the festival interesting.
It further explained that the 2013 edition of the festival has been designed to incorporate people of the Idanre Community who will participate fully in the two-day event.
Akinmade said government was perfecting every strategy to immortalise the late Falae by ensuring that the Idanre hills, which are the focal point of the annual fiesta, were listed by the United Nations Educational and Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), as one of the World’s Heritage sites.
He also said government was celebrating the Mare festival annually in order to showcase the Idanre hills to international tourists with the ultimate aim of attracting direct investments to the economy of the state.
He said the world body had already approved the Idanre Hills nomination dossier and had dispatched independent inspectors to carry out a comprehensive assessment of the facilities at the site as contained in the dossier.
The Commissioner said the current investment by the government to organise the annual festival was necessary in view of the fact that the event had already drawn global attention to Idanre.
He said the state Governor, Dr Olusegun Mimiko, has vowed not to leave any stone unturned to make Idanre the best tourist centre in the country in order to attract foreign and local investors who will invest in hospitality industry, of the state.
He said, “There is no other hill anywhere in the world that could be comparable to what we have in Idanre. The lovely rock formations are special gifts to Ondo State and Nigeria in general.”
He commended the people of Idanre for their endurance and hospitality during the previous editions of the festival and promised that the 2013 Edition would be glamorous.
- Ondo State to host international mountain mare festival (spyghana.com)
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