The Vodafone Hibiscus Festival kicked off with an opening march along Laucala Bay Road to the Vodafone Arena in Suva yesterday.
Unlike the previous years where the opening march is held through Suva City to Albert Park, it was not so for the 60th anniversary for Fiji’s longest-running festival.
With the festival venue being changed from Albert Park to the Vodafone Arena, the march started from the Flagstaff roundabout led by the Fiji Police Force Band and Vodafone 2015 Miss Hibiscus, Marie Fall while hundreds of people watched and cheered for their favourite contestants.
Hibiscus Committee chairperson Hirdesh Prasad said this year they had prepared for better shows and ground conditions than the previous year.
“We have done some major ground works to make better ground conditions for all so all the families can come and have fun in this year’s festival,” Mr Prasad said.
He said they had seen a better response from the public as they had a better venue with all-weather conditions for the grounds.
“This year we had promised the general public to provide them with a better venue and as we see the large number of crowd, we are happy with the committee’s decision,” he said.
“Vodafone Arena is a good venue for us to host the Hibiscus Festival this year and we can see the people are really enjoying the festival.”
The festival was opened by His Excellency, President Major General (Ret’d) Jioji Konrote officiating as Chief Guest at the Vodafone Arena yesterday.
A total of 54 contestants will be taking part with 13 queens, 11 kings, 11 teens, 10 princes and nine princesses’ vying to win a crown in their categories.