Saturday night, Pak Muasri, Secretary of the Festival’s Organizing Committee, extended a special invitation to Bapak Waleed to attend the closing ceremonies of Pekan Budaya Sumatera Barat 2008, the Cultural Festival featuring the music, dance, theater, arts, fashion, and more aspects of the Minangkabau culture. The Closing ceremonies included some final presentations and performances. One of the groups performed Tari Piriang, the Traditional Candle & Plate Dance, often danced in bare feet on plates full of broken glass.
Several hundred people packed into the crowded amphitheater, awaiting the final results of the competitions that had taken place during the week. Drs James Hellyward, Chief of the Department of Tourism, Arts and Culture of West Sumatra, presided over the evening and presented the winning cities with trophies. Coming in First Place was Kota Padang, Padang City, the capital of the Region of West Sumatra. The Mayor of Padang, Walikota Fauzi Bahar was on hand at the Ceremony to receive the medals and trophy, and to congratulate all of the participants from Padang who worked so hard over the past few months to prepare their wonderful performances. These included the group participating in the Pawai Budaya Cultural Parade, to the Tradisi Silat Randai group, those who presented music, art, and dance, and everyone else who contributed to the effort on behalf of the city. Also receiving trophies and awards were the Cities of Solok and Pariaman. All participants were congratulated on their effort and performance, and welcomed to continue practicing and performing in anticipation of the next cultural festival.
Overall the Festival was a great success, far exceeding expectations and the goal of bringing to light the beauties of the Minangkabau culture of West Sumatra. One of the goals was to promote tourism to the region, and its success was demonstrated by the outpouring of people from around the world who attended the week of events. Over 5,000 people from around the country and abroad attended the first day, 8,000 the second, 11,000 the third, and the attendance continued to grow throughout the week.
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