If you’re planning to escape the summer heat by heading to Shimla, time it with the Shimla Summer Festival happening from June 2 – 7. The festival is a celebration of the bounty of harvest, and those five days are a riot of musical and folk performances, cultural attractions, local handicraft exhibitions, as well as quirky fashion shows, dog shows, and stalls that serve up local cuisine.
The Shimla Summer Festival has been conducted annually since the 1960s; and is fairly responsible for drawing in large crowds to the state capital. Held at the Ridge every year; it is just about the right place for a summer soiree. The Ridge is a large, open space right in the middle of the city, perfect for hosting the festival.
Since it’s located along the main shopping centre of the town, it allows travellers to stroll through the festival at their leisure. What’s more, the festival is free for everyone. Stalls selling artisanal wares, food, clothes, and other Himachali handicrafts add a dash of colour and vibrancy to the ambiance. As do Shimla’s top attractions such as the Christ Church.
The Shimla Summer Festival usually kicks off with a half-marathon that paves the way for a fun 5-day spectacle. Special importance is particularly given to sport activities; a multitude of sporting events and tournaments are organised every year. You will see local school children heavily involved in the festival as they showcase their talents through cultural performances. This is also the perfect time, in fact, to catch the beautiful flowers in full bloom in Shimla.
The festival hosts tons of other events, including a fashion show that gives a platform to local designers to showcase their work. Couple that with a bevy of stalls serving lip-smacking Himachali cuisine; the perfect source of nourishment for all. There are live music performances on all five days as well; along with ice-skating events, photography and poster-making competitions, that ensures there’s something for everybody.