By Dayo Johnson

IDANRE—MARE festival in Idanre, ondo state which has become a yearly ‘pilgrimage’ witnessed an unprecedented traffic into Ondo state this year as both the high and low came from within and outside the state to  celebrate God given cultural heritage.

Idanre. A town which shares a boundary with the forest reserve was set aglow with rich cultural/ carnival procession last weekend.

MARE is the celebration of the unique geography in Idanre.

The festival was initiated by the state governor in 2009 to celebrate the natural and cultural potential in the state and to celebrate the diversity of cultures in the state.

On assumption of office, governor Olusegun Mimiko as part of his Caring Heart agenda and in a bid to leverage on tourism for socio-economic development and preservation of the Yoruba cultural heritage instituted MARE( Don’t fall) festival as an annual international Mountain climbing festival in Idanre.

The festival celebrates the land, the people and its rich cultural and draws cultural enthusists from around the World yearly to the Sunshine State

The Idanre hill have come to be globally known as a tourist center and the yearly celebration of Mare festival has pointedly redefined the hills in the sleepy town.

For a period of six years running, the festival has drawn international attention. International climbers have trooped to the state in search of these wonder hills of Idanre.

Speaking at opening of this years festival, the NTDC boss Sally Mbanefo said that the campagn she is carrying out across the state is domestic tourism.

“What are the possible tourism areas that you have in your state, what can we do to make sure you have access to funds and how to fashion out areas of collaboration

Mbanefo was full of commendation to the governor of the state Dr Olusegun Mimiko for the transformation that has taken place as regards tourism development in the state.

She described the state as her “favourite state in terms of tourism” adding that the governor has promoted tourism to an enviable stage.

Governor Mimiko, on his part aid that the official commissioning of Idanre hills resort/ habitat 1 tourism zone mark the dawning of a tourism revolution in the state.

Mimiko said since inception of the festival in 2009, it has recorded remarkable success by attracting national and international patronage, while boosting the economic well-being of the host community.

The Managing Director of the National Commission for Museums and Monument, NCMM, Malam Yusuf Usman reiterated the commitment of the commission to the preservation and conservation of museums, monuments and sites in the country.

He said apart from the 65 National Monuments in the Country, the commission. Has proposed another 100 monuments in commemoration of the nation’s centenary anniversary.

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