Shillong: The Shillong Autumn Festival to promote tourism in the northeastern state of Meghalaya began on Saturday with people competing at the Shillong Half Marathon.
Leading the pack in the marathon, Chief Minister Mukul Sangma, as always, crossed the finish line, followed closely by Urban Affairs Minister Ampareen Lyngdoh.

"Think green, eat green and live green," the chief Minister said, urging the participants to carry home the message of collective responsibility to keep Shillong's environment clean.

"Let’s take a resolution that whoever is here will ensure that this humble beginning is converted into a movement a green movement," he said to cheers from the crowd.

The Chief Minister sang Eddie Rabbit’s evergreen number, 'Room at the top of the stairs' and other classical oldies of the Beatles.

Bining Lyngkhoi, former champion among India runners at the Mumbai Marathon from West Khasi Hills district was the Event Ambassador of the half marathon.

The Meghalaya Tourism Development Forum, the organiser, projected the number of participants at 10,000.
After the days’s events, a show featuring local cuisine would be held on November 3-4 at the picturesque Orchid Lake Resort.
A sound and light show titled 'work of art' would be one of the attractions at the venue. Several western music bands and cultural troupes from the region would perform during the two-day event.


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