JEDDAH: A carnival-style parade marked the opening of a Jeddah park to visitors on Wednesday as part of the Red Sea port city’s annual festival of activities.
Performers in colorful costumes led a procession that included stilt walkers and unicyclists in a groundbreaking ceremony for Prince Majid Park attended by Jeddah Governor Prince Saud bin Abdullah bin Jalawi.
A multitude of artistic, cultural and recreational events have been organized to entertain the crowds of the 2022 Jeddah season.
Prince Majid Park in Al-Rabwah district is one of the main attractions of the city and will welcome visitors for free. Activities and entertainment will include live performances, diverse cultural folklore, recreational events for children, shopping kiosks, a carnival area for challenges and games, a horror house experience and a week of cultural celebration.
Covering an area of 140,000 square meters, the park, which cost nearly SR80 million ($21 million) to build, can accommodate 54,000 people. Visitors are greeted by a 30 meter high interactive fountain that dances and sways to the sound of music and there is also a 9,730 square meter children’s play area.
The 900-meter-long pedestrian lanes and 1,800-meter routes for cyclists and scooters are decorated with 918 trees and 382 palms as part of efforts to meet one of the goals of Saudi Vision 2030 to increase the amount of green and recreational space.
Faisal Al-Shaalan, founder of the Gharsa boutique, set up an educational and agricultural stand in the park to introduce children to the concept of plantation.
“I turned it into a cultural enterprise project to spread the concept of the importance of agriculture and its impact on the internal and external environment,” he told Arab News.
“There is a need to get children to channel their energies into something that benefits the environment and them. They have to make physical and intellectual effort. Parents should find useful hobbies for them, including farming,” Al-Shaalan said.
On the character building aspect of the hobby, he added, “What sets planting apart is that it empowers the child to follow and water the plants and take care of them, which develops the sense of responsibility of the child.”
The park has an open theater that can seat over 1,000 spectators and 5,624 square meters of event space.
Saudi artist Meead Anwar Abulata said, “I am happy to participate in the Jeddah season alongside other Saudi painters to provide visitors to the park with a captivating art exhibition.”
One of Abulata’s vivid paintings depicted a lady in a blue-hued dress. “In the painting, I mimic the shades of the deep blue waters on the ballerina’s dress to convey the relationship between the deep sea and the depth and fluidity of women’s emotions.
“It also expresses that the sea is deep and holds secrets and surprises, such as the endless potential and ambition of women and what they bring to today’s Saudi Arabia,” he said. she adds.
The park will also host an international bazaar offering accessories and products reflecting the cultures of various countries, as well as service areas, restaurants and cafes.
Jeddah Season is part of the Saudi Seasons initiative, launched to enrich the lives of the people of the Kingdom and promote the country as an important global tourist destination.
The annual festival aims to showcase the city’s rich heritage and culture through a total of 2,800 activities across nine zones during the event period.
Organized under the title Our Lovely Days, the second Jeddah Season follows the success of Riyadh Season which recorded more than 15 million visits in five months.
Jeddah Season offers 70 interactive experiences, over 60 recreational activities, seven Arabic and two international plays, marine events, a circus, four international exhibitions and a host of other services for families.
Its nine zones will host events related to their historical and cultural aspect of their location and function. Tickets are available at https://jeddahseason.sa/index.html.