HCM City’s first ever river festival opened on August 4 with a series of fun waterway activities. - VNA Photo

HCM City’s first ever river festival opened on August 4 until August 6 with a series of cultural and entertainment activities related to the city’s waterways for locals and tourists.

The river festival aims to preserve and promote the city’s culture and history, and make use of its waterways to boost the economy and tourism, in order to build the city’s brand as a culturally rich riverside urban area.

At District 1’s Nhiêu Lộc – Thị Nghè Canal (the section between Điện Biên Phủ and Thị Nghè bridges) and District 8’s Bình Đông Wharf, there are stalls selling local cuisine, fruits and specialties.

There are also river boat tours, art performances in the evening, and activities that recreate the lives and culture of the locals of Sài Gòn - Chợ Lớn - Gia Định – HCM City in the past.

Bạch Đằng Wharf in District 1 features a traditional boat race (with participants from across HCM City and other provinces), and fun traditional folk games.

Bạch Đằng Wharf and Nhiêu Lộc Canal also offer visually exciting watersport performances such as flyboards, water canoes, and boat sailing.

A key feature of the festival is Sài Gòn - Dòng Sông Kể Chuyện (Sài Gòn - Tales of the River), a real-scene art performance to be held at 8pm on August 6 on the Sài Gòn River, which combines traditional stage materials with modern sound and light effects, creating unique experiences for viewers.

It will use 3D technology, a water music system and high power laser lights, among other modern twists, and features nearly 700 performers and artisans.

Phan Văn Mãi, chairman of the city People’s Committee, said that "The city’s rivers are an important part of the over 300 years of development of Sài Gòn - Chợ Lớn - Gia Định - HCM City. Wharves, traditional craft villages, and markets along the rivers and canals have grown over the years, helping to form a unique identity for the region". - VNS