A global showcase...
Highlights of the opening night included the operetta Land and Sea, a portrayal of the link between the people of Bahrain and the land, sea and animals through music and poetry.
It featured performances by 150 Bahraini students who were joined by the military brass and percussion bands, as well as Bahraini bagpipers.
Live animals like horses, cattle, camels and falcons also made an appearance in each act, depicting the region's historical link to agriculture.
The world famous Lipizzaners, which are also known as 'The Dancing White Stallions', also displayed their nimble techniques to classical music during their first-ever performance in the Middle East. They will be appearing twice daily throughout the three days of the event, which also includes livestock, horse and dog shows.
Municipalities and Urban Planning Affairs Minister Dr Juma Al Ka'abi, also BAPS 2010 organisation committee chairman, thanked His Majesty for patronising the opening ceremony.
He stressed the importance of the exhibition, which follows orders from His Majesty, as the international community exerts more efforts to boost food security.
"The debut show is another milestone as part of efforts to promote sustained development under Bahrain's Economic Vision 2030 and the national strategy," Dr Al Ka'abi said.
He described the show as epitomising His Majesty's keenness to promote agriculture, as a long-dated heritage and a key pillar of sustained food security.
Today's events include the Dog Show at 10am, midday, and 4pm; US Military Dog demonstration at 11am; and National Geographic presentation by photographers Joel Bourne at 11am and Annie Griffith at 1pm.
The marching band will perform at midday and 4pm, sheep shearing demonstrations will be held at 1pm, 3pm, 5pm and 7pm, the Lipizzaner Stallions will dance in their shows at 2pm and 5pm, and the operetta will be the last event at 7.30pm.
The festival site at Bahrain Endurance Village dominates a large space catered to five separate sections.
Featured at the show are animal pens containing goats and sheep, the Education Zone where National Geographic photographers will be presenting their experiences and photographs from around the world, and the Mara'ee official Mascots - a chicken, cow and fish - who walk around the arena and the main show area.
A large array of activities are available to keep children entertained including an animal train, rodeo bull and other amusement rides, a hay maze, radio-controlled tractor challenges on a mini off-road circuit, pony rides and a cow milking simulator.
Organisers hope that it will be a great success and will be held every two years.
The ultimate aim is to focus on all aspects of sustainable agriculture development, especially livestock, given its vital role in food security.
A free shuttle bus service for visitors is operational from two pick-up locations, Bahrain National Museum and Bahrain Fort Museum, starting today until Saturday, when the event ends.
Entrance to the show is free for all.
l Winners of a Best In Class competition, open to all animal lovers, were announced during last night's festivities.
They were Jalal Ali Mohammed and his black Arab stallion, Salam Freish bin Sultan and his Arab horse, Abdullah Al Sumayhi and his prize-winning camels, Mark Noxford and Shaikh Hamad bin Abdulla Al Khalifa with their Arab Saluki dogs and Arid Alawi with his falcon.
Copyright 2009 Gulf Daily News
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