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The 7th River Festival Will Resume in March After Two-Year Hiatus

KAMPONG THOM: The 7th River Festival will finally be held from 8-10 March this year, following a two-year hiatus because of Covid-19. Kampong Thom Province will host the River Festival under the presidency of Prime Minister Hun Sen and First Lady Bun Rany Hun Sen.

On 6 January 2023, the Minister of Tourism, Thong Khon, who chaired the 7th River Festival preparatory meeting with the governor of Kampong Thom Province, stated that the River Festival had been suspended for two years due to the Covid-19 crisis but the situation of the pandemic has improved in Cambodia, hence, the government has decided to reorganize the river festival this year.

He added that the river festival, which will be hosted by Kampong Thom province, will be held from 8-10 March 2023 and can even continue on to 11-12 March, which is a weekend. The river festival celebration is expected to last for up to five days, while in previous years it was only held for three days.

At the festival, there will be exhibitions of local agricultural products, tourism booths, handicrafts, food and beverages for sale, as well as cultural spectacles and activities such as boxing, petanque and racing.

In addition, there will be tree planting ceremonies, concerts, arts and culture performances, social gatherings with the Phat Sanday community, and many other activities.

In 2020, the River Festival was held in Battambang province with nearly 300,000 participants. The River Festival was held annually from 2015 to 2020, but was suspended in 2021 and 2022 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The festival is organized by the Royal Government of Cambodia with the aim of creating tourism events for riverine provinces, especially contributing to the promotion and development of Cambodia's riverine areas to become attractive tourist destinations in line with the Royal Government's strategy to diversify tourism products. Such tourism services are intended to inspire the masses to conserve natural resources along the river, as well as to promote connectivity and strengthen partnerships with friendly countries.

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