Giant balloon parade thrills Eid fest visitors

More than a dozen character balloons soared above the Doha Corniche on Wednesday, marking the launch of the region’s first-ever giant balloon parade on the second day of the Eid Festival in Qatar.

Festival-goers witnessed helium-filled balloons featuring characters from popular video games, cartoons and films such as Angry Birds, Minions and Super Mario, among others, alongside a Qatar Airways balloon plane.

A large number of people thronged Qatar’s famous thoroughfare, which has been transformed into a colourful walkabout as part of the festival.

The much-anticipated parade was held late in the evening on Wednesday. The parade on the festival’s opening day (May 3) was cancelled due to bad weather, according to Qatar Tourism.

Spectators, especially children were thrilled to see the balloons. “It was a long wait but worth it,” said a resident who had gone to the Corniche with a friend. “It was simply great. Seeing some of my favourite characters as giant balloons made my day,” said a youngster who had been waiting for the parade with his family.

Another key part of the programme – the daily fireworks display – lit up the sky from 9pm and added to the spectators’ delight. It will continue today at exactly 9pm and is expected to draw a big crowd, many of whom arrive in the early afternoon and wait patiently to take part in the festival and witness key activities and shows.

Many of the festival-goers, along with their families and friends, were fascinated to witness both the daily fireworks display and the giant balloon parade. 

An Indian expatriate said he was surprised to see such a huge crowd at the venue and hopes that there will be more food stalls in the future. 

The festival is hosting activities for different age groups such as the local marching bands that roam around the venue to greet and entertain visitors. 

The organisers said the giant balloon parade and a third live concert will be held on the concluding day (today) of the festival, in addition to carnival games, an inflatable play area for children, and an array of food stalls.

Qatari artiste and singer Nasser al-Kubeissi enthralled the audience with his performance yesterday, a day after renowned Iraqi artiste and composer Mahmoud al-Turki drew a huge crowd on the first day of the festival. Fans of Saudi Arabian artiste/singer and composer Sultan Khalifa will have the opportunity to witness his show today.

Food trucks, serving Arabic, Indian and other dishes and snacks, saw huge demand for different types of food and beverages at the event.

Apart from the Doha Corniche, the Eid al-Fitr holidays has led to citizens and residents spending time shopping and dining at major malls and restaurants.

Others are taking the opportunity to explore various places of interest and cultural centres in Qatar, such as Souq Waqif and Katara – the Cultural Village, among others.

Parks and beaches have also been huge crowd-pullers over the past few days.

It is learnt that Qatar’s hospitality and food & beverage sectors has received a further boost with families, as well as individuals, booking special ‘staycation’ packages in many hotels and resorts throughout the Eid holidays.

Msheireb Downton Doha witnessed a surge in the number of visitors since the start of the Eid break with families, individuals and groups visiting several restaurants, which offer authentic local and international dishes.

As seen on GulfTimes  Image Credits GulfTimes