A first of its kind in Lebanon, an automotive festival of upbeat activities and performances took place in Sidon this weekend under the theme Communication and Love and was organized by the Project Group Saida Automotive Festival in the Rafic Hariri Sporting City, under the patronage of the city mayor Eng. Mohammad Al-Saoudi.
From an exhibition of American motorcycles and new and classic-old cars to racing competitions and off-road drifting presentations to Food Tracks' market and artistic and musical entertainment, Sidon was on a high upbeat mode this weekend, attracting attendants and participants from all Lebanese regions.
In the racing circuit around the sport city, excited fans of different ages as well as the attending officials got to enjoy over four hours of automotive shows and races. Racing contestants attended from various Lebanese regions with more than 30 cars and ATV motorcycles, including thrilling races of drift cars and motorcycles jumping above lined-up cars.
The 2-day festival was launched Saturday evening, in the presence of the representative of MP Bahia Hariri, and numerous officials, public figures, associations, and sport and cultural clubs.
The event initiated with the raising of the longest Lebanese flag (120 meters x 1.80 meters) along the ground of the sporting city stadium, carried by volunteers from the Lebanese Scout Association - Commission of the South.
A welcome speech by media personality Bilal Naqouzi followed the national anthem, after which Mr. Hisham Saad, representing the festival organizers, addressed the crowd, pointing out that "the aim of this festival is to promote mechanical sports in Sidon."
"It is the largest gathering of American cars held for the first time in Sidon and the south, and includes an exhibition of new American cars and old classics, motorcycles, and Drifting cars," he said.
"We wanted to express what we love and what this sport means [in order] to give it the necessary importance, like any other special sport, and it is a hobby that represents a large segment of the youth," Mr. Saad explained.
He went on adding, "On the other hand, we wanted to organize this event in Sidon to encourage people to come to the city, especially the enthusiasts of this sport, and to compete in the land of Sidon, and also for us to go to other regions to participate in similar events."
He concluded thanking the city mayor who sponsored the festival, as well as the regional deputies, the army, the internal security forces, all the security services and the press, and all supporters and participants.
Besides the motor shows and activities, the festival included an entertainment program that presented various musical and artistic performances until midnight. The event concluded with tombola draws and the presentation of awards.