PLANS have been concluded for the 2012 Osun Osogbo Cultural Festival to be hosted by Oba Jimoh Oyetunji, Olanipekun Larooye 11, in collaboration with State Government of Osun come August, 2012.
The cultural fiesta which has been widely described as a leading platform for cultural tourism development in Osun State and Nigeria will feature interesting pre-festival events such as, school cultural competition, workshops and Festival Art exhibition which will take place on August15.
Most notable features of the grand finale include; PMAN’s Performance day to hold, August 20, HIV-AIDS Promotional Campaign and Sisi Osun Cultural Pageant and Asa Musical Concert, both to take place on Thursday, August 23. The Osun Oshogbo Festival Grand finale and Royal reception for sponsors and invited dignitaries are billed to hold on 24th August at Palace’s White House and attendance is strictly by invitation.
Speaking at the conference heralding the event, the Festival Working Committee Chairman High chief Popo Bolarinwa who first praised the sponsors – MTN Nigeria; Star- Nigeria Breweries Plc; Seaman’s Schnapps- Grand Oak; Eagles Schnapps- Intercontinental Distillers, for their support which the festival has always enjoyed, disclosed that beginning from August 13 to 24, the two week long cultural fiesta would be a big plus to tourism development in the country.
Bolarinwa said: ”the existence of cultural awareness and peace not only in Osogboland but in Osun State as a result of the establishment of the festival which led to the enlistment of Osun Grove in July 2005 by UNESCO as a world heritage site is one of the best ways to boost the nation’s economy and interaction with the outside world.
“The Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola’s administration has transformed and is still transforming the Osun Grove within nineteen months in office. He has structurally created free movement at the Grove, adding that the “governor has demolished the existing pavilion in the Grove and immediately embarked on the re-construction of a theartre-like stage. He is also re-modifying the festival route with construction of road drainage system in addition to designated car parks”.
Bolarinwa added that the government is treating the issue of security of lives and properties within the state of Osun seriously by making adequate security arrangement for the grande presentation.
Also speaking, MTN representative Stella Nwosisi said that the festival is a leading world heritage fiesta which provides an opportunity for Nigerians to interact and know how best to go back to their roots. She said: “MTN Shares same values on leadership and relationship as the festival projects, which is the reason it would continue to lend its support”.
Soyode said the occasion is not only an opportunity to showcase Osun Oshogbo festival but most importantly, to share cultural heritage of the black to the world, “thereby helping us remember that there is need for us to retrace our roots rather than copy Europe or America.”