The State of Osun government said it has put all necessary arrangements in place to ensure a hitch-free celebration of this year’s Osun Osogbo festival.
The Osun Osogbo grove, which is the centre-point of the festival, is receiving a face-lift given its status as a UNESCO heritage site.
The festival formally took off on Monday in the metropolis with a traditional rally known as “Iwopopo.”
The “Iwopopo” is the traditional cleansing of the routes leading to the palace of the Ataoja of Osogbo and the Osun grove.
The grand finale of the festival, which is scheduled to hold on 24 August is expected to be attended by people from both within and outside the country.
The state government has tarred the road leading to the Osun grove as well as reconstructed the pavilion at the shrine with a view to making the festival a success.
Mr. Oladipupo Soyede, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Tourism, Culture and Home Affairs, said the state government was giving deserved attention to the festival.
According to him, the state government will provide free rail transport for those who were prepared to visit Osogbo from Oyo and Lagos States.
Government, he said, was making necessary arrangements to ensure proper management and control of the crowd during the grand finale of the festival.
“The state government has made the environment conducive for social and economic activities which will translate to economic transformation of the state.
“We hope to ensure a free flow of traffic and all visitors and tourists from across the world to the centre are expected to conduct themselves peacefully.
“The state government has embarked on a massive reconstruction of the pavilion at the grove to meet the UNESCO standard.
“Workers, including engineers, are now working day and night to ensure that the first phase of the project is completed early enough,” he said. (NAN)