Report by Odisha Diary bureau, Gopalpur: On the auspicious occasion of Makar Sankranti, a two-day long kite festival is being organized by the Brahmapur Development Authority (BDA) at Gopalpur-on-Sea. Mr. Amitabh Thakur, IG Southern Range and Mr. Prem Chandra Chaudhury, Collector of Ganjam cum Vice Chairman of BeDA inaugurated the traditional event on Saturday by handing over the first kite to a young participant. Kite flying was guided by instructors and volunteers of the event. Hundreds of people from across various age groups participated in this traditional festival with great enthusiasm. Along with that, special food stalls were also installed for the event and was named as Sankranti Special Cuisines. In the evening, the participants enjoyed cultural shows staged by famous band of the state Vighnanz. BDA, in its endeavor to promote the prime tourist destinations within its jurisdictional area, has organized the festival as a part of its three month long beach festival namely, ‘Gopalpur Eco Retreat Festival 2017’. The Authority firmly believes that the pristine and serene beach clubbed with the rich heritage of Gopalpur-on-Sea has the potential to attract tourists from all around the globe if promoted well in the hospitality market. This event is an initial step in that direction. The upcoming sea festival would be a confluence of nature, music, arts and culture. Various events are formulated which resonates the theme of wellness and eco-tourism such as Cyclothon, Clean Beach Campaign, Green Gopalpur, Healthy food festival, Traditional arts and cultural programmes & water sports activities in later stages.