The Valletta Green Festival – the annual event which is synonymous with the Maltese Cultural Calendar – has opened today and will take place until Tuesday 11th May. This is the largest edition since the festival started to be held.
Valletta Cultural Agency Chairman Jason Micallef, together with the Minister for National Heritage, the Arts and Local Governtment, José Herrera and the Minister for Energy, Enterprise and Sustainable Development, Miriam Dalli, opened the festival this morning.
“This is the 8th edition of the Valletta Green Festival, whereby every year has been a success and thus we have continued to invest in our capital city. It is part of the Government’s vision to introduce more urban greening and thus part of the trees and shrubs that are being used during this Festival will be left permanently in Valletta, in order to continue greening our capital city,” stated Minister Jose Herrera.
“This year’s aptly chosen theme is that of zero pollution, reflecting our commitment to reduce emissions. Through the Energy and Water Agency, the Water Services Corporation and Parks Malta, we are offering a creative space for those who visit the stands to better understand the valuable work being carried out by these entities and how this contributes to sustainability,” Minister Miriam Dalli said.
Addressing the event, Valletta Cultural Agency Chairman Jason Micallef said, “In the occassion of the largest edition of the Valletta Green Festival, I am satisfed that as from this year and in future years, we will be leaving behind a 25% legacy when it comes to improving urban greening in Valletta.”
The festival is this year taking place across the city, starting at City Gate and continuing towards St George’s Square, where the main activities will be taking place.
Valletta visitors are welcomed by a temporary garden inspired by the formal gardens of the past at Freedom Square, in front of Parliament, from the 3rd May. Entrusted to the Garland Company, this City Gate Garden installation bears a classical layout that blends beautifully with Valletta’s elegant architecture and serves as an invitation to reflect on the importance of urban greening. It has been constructed using salvaged wood, a testament that abandoned materials may too be infused with a new life and purpose.
Indigenous trees including Pine, Myrtle and Bay Leaf decorate De Valette Square. A total of 100 Cypress trees have been placed along Republic Street, Republic Square and St George’s Square while lemon and orange trees decorate Great Siege Square.
This year’s infiorata is designed by local artist Zack Ritchie on the theme of ‘Zero Pollution’ and features a colourful turtle inspired by this year’s European Green Week theme, ‘Zero Pollution’.
As part of the festival, the Environmental and Resources Authority has reproduced a beehive made with a marine wood structure in St George’s Square. The aim of the installation is to stress the importance of pollination for biodiversity and how pollution impacts this process.
The ‘Water be the Change’ and PARKS information points in St George’s Square, provide visitors with information while personnel will be able to answer any questions on protecting the environment and ways to reduce unnecessary water consumption and pollution. The Water Services Corporation is also present in St George’s Square with a water truck making free drinking water available throughout the duration of the festival.
This year’s edition of the Kite Festival, a collaboration between the Valletta Cultural Agency, the China Cultural Centre and the Malta Foundation for the Wellbeing of Society, will be held on the 8th of May at 10AM, via ZOOM. This year’s event takes place in the form of an online workshop, with people, in particularly children, being invited to participate as Kite Master Mr Guo Hongli will share his tips, tricks and kite-making techniques on how to build the perfect kite. H.E. Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca, on behalf of the Malta Foundation for the Wellbeing of Society, will be delivering a speech on the occasion. Participants are invited to prepare the materials required beforehand (which may be found on the FB event page) to be able to follow along.
One may also visit the newly opened roof garden at the Valletta Design Cluster which is a key component of the urban regeneration project that the Valletta Cultural Agency has been undertaking in the Baviera area of Valletta. The roof garden is fully accessible via a lift linking the space to the ground floor and the central courtyard of the Valletta Design Cluster and is open to the public daily from 8am to 6pm.
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