Simunjan Festival hopes to draw over 20,000 visitors this year


Awla (seated second left) fields question at the press conference. — Photo by Rengenyan Labang

KUCHING: This year’s Simunjan Festival from Sept 29 to Oct 1, is expected to double the crowd in 2015, which registered 10,000 visitors.

What makes the Simunjan Festival 2017 unique is that participants from Brunei and Sabah are also taking part in the Sarawak Gendang Melayu competition held in conjunction with the festival.

During a press conference here yesterday, Simunjan assemblyman Awla Dris called upon the people in Serian and Gedong as well as Kuching, Samarahan and Sri Aman to join the three-day event.

“We target to draw 20,000 visitors to this year’s festival, to take place at the Batang Sadong Waterfront in Simunjan.

“Simunjan District has a population of nearly 40,000 people, the majority Malays at over 21,000 followed by 14,900 Ibans, 1,300 Chinese, and others,” he said after chairing a meeting here yesterday.

Awla said the festival would act as a platform for the people of diverse culture to mingle and promote mutual respect and understanding.

He added the event would also help to promote Simunjan District as a choice destination for tourists in Sarawak.

“We also want to see various local produce being promoted among not just the locals but also foreign visitors,” he said.

Among activities planned for the festival are Batang Sadong regatta, futsal, poco-poco, fashion show contest for children, battle of the band, karaoke contest, Sarawak Gendang Melayu competition and bike gathering.

An expedition to Mount Ngeli will also be held for people of all ages on Sept 24.

“We hope to have more people joining us at the festival to make it a success,” added Awla.

Chief Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg is expected to close the festival on Oct 1 while Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Dato Sri Nancy Shukri is expected to launch it on Sept 30.