JEDDAH: A carnival-style parade on Wednesday marked the opening of a Jeddah park to visitors as part of the Red Sea port city’s annual festival of activities.
Entertainers in colorful costumes led a procession that included stilt walkers and unicyclists during an inauguration ceremony for Prince Majid Park attended by Jeddah Gov. Prince Saud bin Abdullah bin Jalawi.
A host of artistic, cultural, and recreational events have been lined up to entertain Jeddah Season 2022 crowds.
Prince Majid Park in Al-Rabwah district is one of the city’s main attractions and will be welcoming visitors free of charge. Activities and entertainment will include live performances, diverse cultural folklore, recreational events for children, shopping booths, a carnival area for challenges and games, a horror house experience, and a cultural celebration week.
Covering an area of 140,000 square meters, the park, that 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 pathways and 1,800 meters of routes for cyclists and scooters are decorated with 918 trees and 382 palm trees as part of efforts to satisfy one of the Saudi Vision 2030 goals to increase the amount of green and recreational spaces.
Faisal Al-Shaalan, founder of the shop Gharsa, has set up an educational and agricultural booth in the park to introduce children to the concept of planting.
“I turned it into a cultural business project to spread the concept of the importance of agriculture and its impact on the internal and external environment,” he told Arab News.
“It is necessary to make the children harness their energies into something that benefits the environment and them. They need to make a physical and intellectual effort. Parents must find useful hobbies for them, including agriculture,” Al-Shaalan said.
On the character-building aspect of the hobby, he added: “What distinguishes planting is that it makes the child take responsibility to follow up and water the plants and take care of them, which develops the child’s sense of responsibility.”
The park has an open theater that accommodates more than 1,000 spectators, and an events area covering 5,624 square meters.
Saudi artist Meead Anwar Abulata, said: “I’m glad to be participating in Jeddah Season alongside other Saudi painters to offer the park’s visitors a captivating live art show.”
One of Abulata’s live paintings portrayed a lady in a dress with hues of blue. “In the painting, I mimic the shades of 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 contains secrets and surprises, like the endless potential and ambition of women and what they provide in today’s Saudi Arabia,” she added.
The park will also be hosting an international bazaar featuring accessories and products reflecting the cultures of various countries, in addition to service areas, restaurants, and cafes.
Jeddah Season is part of the Saudi Seasons initiative, launched to enrich the lives of people in the Kingdom and promote the country as an important world tourist destination.
The annual festival aims to highlight the city’s rich heritage and culture through a total of 2,800 activities in nine zones over the event period.
Being held under the title, Our Lovely Days, the second Jeddah Season follows on from the success of Riyadh Season that recorded more than 15 million visits over five months.
Jeddah Season offers 70 interactive experiences, more than 60 recreational activities, seven Arab and two international plays, marine events, a circus, four international exhibitions, and a host of other services for families.
Its nine zones will hold events related to their historical and cultural aspect of their location and function. Tickets are available at https://jeddahseason.sa/index.html.