The crowd on the third and last day of the fifth edition of Covai Flower Show broke its earlier records with over 1.25 lakh footfalls. While day one saw around 50,000, and day two saw around 75,000 visitors to the show, the last day took the cake.
The teaming crowd at the Botanic Garden of the Tamil Nadu Agricultural University on Sunday did not mind the scorching sun, heat, dust, walking long distances from the bus stand or parking lots, or getting jostled. All that they wanted to do was catch a glimpse of the flowers before the show with the theme "Say it with Flowers" came to a close.
Young and old, mothers with babes in arms and strollers, and hordes of children, were out to have a full picnic. No one was in a hurry to just go around the floral arrangements and head back home. It was a leisurely Sunday for must of them.
Every green patch in the garden was occupied by relaxing families snacking on something or just chatting. And, the clicking of cameras did not stop. The children’s amusement park was packed with them taking rides on the giant wheel or tora-tora. A lot of shopping was also done at the stalls.
S. Maheshwari had a "great" time with her eight-year old son and mother. "The huge crowd is witness to the fact that people are looking at such avenues for entertainment in Coimbatore. It is a nice opportunity for families to have a day out. My son was awed by the Bonsais, while the aeroplane was my mother’s favourite", she said.
A valediction was organised to give away prizes to the winners of the competitions that were held in connection with the show.
M. Karunakaran, Collector, P. Murugesa Boopathi, Vice-Chancellor of the university, S.K. Dutta, Deputy Director General (Crop Science), Indian Council of Agricultural Research, and representatives of the Rotary Coimbatore Uptown, gave away prizes to the winners.
A visibly elated Vice-Chancellor said that the botanic garden of the university had been instrumental in providing healthy entertainment to the people of Coimbatore.
"The university has sought a grant of Rs. 5 crore from the Central Government to upgrade it to world-class standards. The garden, which was inaugurated in 1935, today has nearly 800 species of plants" he said.
He also appreciated all those, including the students of the TNAU, who had been toiling for over two months to make the show possible. There was a word of praise for effective policing that had been responsible in managing the crowd well.
The flower show was jointly organised by TNAU and Rotary Coimbatore Uptown. The Hindu was the media partner for the event.