Happy things in sorrow times: Express Family Festival delights Lahoris

Over a hundred stalls have been set up at the festival venue.

LAHORE: The Express Family Festival commenced on Saturday at the Expo Centre with various food, handicraft stalls and scores of children-friendly activities much to the delight of the people.

The two-day festival has a Mauj Masti aur Maza tagline and features nearly a hundred stalls. Provincial Assembly Speaker Rana Muhammad Iqbal Khan inaugurated the festival. He visited several stalls and interacted with those manning and frequenting the stalls.

Khan said such events provided families with a platform to engage in constructive activities.

He said such events also provided entrepreneurs with valuable exposure to markets.

Scores of stalls exhibiting books, handicrafts and toys among other products were set up. These included stalls of Stylo, the Vitamin Company and the Punjab Group of Colleges.

Javeria Saud, a morning show host, was also present on the occasion and interacted with those attending the festival.  A food court featuring an array of favourites was set up in the vicinity.

A play area and a stage for performances by youngsters were also set up much to the delight of visiting families.

Shaista Zahid, a participant, said she and her husband had been delighted to come across the food court and the play area. She said they had been able to take a short break there while their children had gotten amused by diversions in the play area. Zahid said initiatives like these provided people with a chance to unwind in stressful times. She said there was a dearth of such events in Pakistan.

The Karachi Nimco Centre stall attracted scores of buyers. A wide range of finger chips catering to all taste buds were offered for sale at the stall. An eclectic range of dry fruits was also up for sale at the stall.

Mazhar Malik of the Karachi Nimco Centre told The Express Tribune that he travelled to Lahore once in a month to sell their most popular produce. He said Lahoris had a penchant for meetha chiwara, spicy finger chips, salted and spiced peanuts in addition to nimco.

Sajalo.pk’s stall exhibited a diverse range of runners, rugs and carpets. Salman Daud of sajalo.pk said the items were also available for purchase on their website. Akhtar Nawaz, a resident of Nathiagali, offered Kashmiri shawls for sale at the festival.

These included some of the most sought-after varieties including shahtoosh and pashmina. He said he had been dealing in shawls for decades.

A number of people were enthralled by handicrafts from Tharparkar on the occasion.  Raja, a resident of Tharparkar, said Lahoris had a weakness for handicrafts from the area. He said they were particularly fond of Sindhi embroidery as it was uncommon in this part of the world.

The festival will end today (Sunday).

Published in The Express Tribune, November 23rd, 2014.


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