- Title: SAUDI ARABIA: Flower festival welcomes Spring in Saudi Arabia
- Date: 27th March 2012
- Summary: (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) SAUDI MAN, MOHAMAD AL-SHERAME, SAYING: "These festivals change a little bit of the routine for residents in Riyadh. God bless them for these efforts and we thank them."
- Embargoed: 11th April 2012 13:00
- Location: Saudi Arabia, Saudi Arabia
- Country: Saudi Arabia
- Topics: Quirky,Light / Amusing / Unusual / Quirky
- Reuters ID: LVA6T4AMLRYKIB3JIDK5SG9F4D3S
- Story Text: The 8th Riyadh Spring Festival recently kicked-off in the capital, with a huge flower carper featuring 300 thousands flowers as the main centre piece for this year's event.
The Mayor of Riyadh, Prince Abdul Aziz Al-Ayyaf, opened the festival on Wednesday (March 21) at the Exhibition Grounds.
The 10-day event is being described simply as "The Gardens and Flowers."
Engineer Ibraheem al-Howaimel is the manager of the Riyadh Spring Festival.
"The Riyadh Spring Festival is in its 8th cycle this year. It spans nearly 48-thousand square metres and features several special corners, including the flower carpet and various government agencies who are taking part in the exhibition and there are also various landscaping and ornamental plant and flower companies taking part," he said.
"The flower carpet contains more than 300 thousand flowers -- various flower species -- and it was made from Riyadh Municipality nurseries as well as other nurseries the Riyadh Municipality works with," he added.
More than 50 thousand people poured into the gardens during the first few days of the event. Visitors walked through the colourful displays and enjoyed a street parade for children, which featured costumed dancers and music. Many posed for family photographs.
For Saudi Arabia, famed for its extremely arid lands, flowers are sometimes a rarity. "I saw flowers. I want to come here everyday," said one young girl.
"Everything I saw I liked. Everything is great, all the way from the entrance to the exit," said elderly visitor Om Abdul-Aziz.
The event coincided with school holidays.
"These festivals change a little bit of the routine for residents in Riyadh. God bless them for these efforts and we thank them," said visitor Mohamad al-Sherame, who was there with his children.
The 8th Riyadh Spring Festival also featured special play areas for children, and several display booths for companies specializing in ornaments and special flower arrangements.
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