Colombo Christmas Street opens today

The opening of Colombo Christmas Street, a unique event which features a wide range of entertainment elements, will take place at 6.30 p.m. today at Green Path in Colombo.

The event’s Chief Guest will be Tourism Development Minister John Amaratunga. Billed as a sister event to the popular Tourism Fest currently taking place at the Independence Arcade, Colombo Christmas Street will continue until Christmas Eve.

Both Tourism Fest and Colombo Christmas Street are concepts of the Tourism Development Minister and seek to provide quality entertainment to thousands of tourists and locals who are expected to throng the city during the peak tourist season.

Advisor to the Ministry of National Policies and Economic Affairs, Dinesh Weerakkody, who is spearheading the organisation of both Tourism Fest and Colombo Christmas Street, noted that a significant feature of both events was that they were being organised as public-private partnerships (PPP) with all funding coming in from the private sector.

“I must thank the leading corporates that have come on board to support this initiative both directly and indirectly by lighting up their business premises. I would like to see the others supporting this initiative which is aimed at making Colombo a tourism hotspot during the festive season,” he said.

Colombo Christmas Street is being held by the Sri Lanka Retailers’ Association (SLRA) in collaboration with the Ministry of Tourism Development and the Colombo Municipal Council. A roughly 1-km-long stretch of Green Path is expected to be transformed into an entertainment hub bringing the spirit of the festive season to the heart of Colombo.

Colombo Christmas Street will feature up to 50 trade stalls selling gift items, local crafts, hampers and a wide variety of other products. The street will have its own food festival consisting of 15 stalls run by the city’s top hotels featuring an array of both traditional and seasonal favourites.

The daily program starts at 2.00 p.m. and goes on till 11.00 p.m. Up to four choirs are scheduled to perform each day from 6.30 p.m.-8.00 p.m. and thereafter live bands and DJs will perform along with several guest artists. The entire Christmas Street at Green Path will be decorated in sparkling lights and seasonal décor, making it the ideal venue for families to explore, spend time together and pick up last-minute Christmas presents.

Project Chairman Ruwan Senanayake is of the view that a concept of this nature has been a long-felt need in the city. “This is the first time that a project like this has been undertaken in Sri Lanka as a public-private partnership. It is a great opportunity for both sides to collaborate. The Street will be up to international standards and our aim is to attract both foreign and local tourists. Events of this nature are what drive tourism in the city and we need to continue our efforts in this regard. Next year we hope to further upgrade Colombo Christmas Street to the status of a national signature event. I’m honoured to be involved in this endeavour.”

Meanwhile, SLRA Founder President Hussain Sadiq said that the Christmas Street concept had been developed in line with global trends. “We were able to attract all sorts of retailers from individual street vendors to new millennium entrepreneurs, small traders, charities and national retailers, and park them on one common street. We gave stalls free of charge to startups and charities at a cost exceeding Rs. 1.5 million. We plan to distribute gifts as well among the marginalised. The SLRA considers this a great initiative that enables our members to reach out to both locals and tourists at the height of the festive season.”

Source :


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