A peach of a festival

The Fenghua Peach Culture Festival will open on March 20, authorities from Ningbo city, Zhejiang Province, announced in Shanghai on Thursday.

Performers from Ningbo

The Fenghua Peach Culture Festival will open on March 20, authorities from Ningbo city, Zhejiang Province, announced in Shanghai on Thursday.

As well as blossom appreciation, the festival includes cheongsam shows, cycle races, dances, a peach industry forum, concerts, a group wedding, an exhibition and bazaars. 

The highlight will be a peach blossom marathon jointly hosted by the Chinese Athletic Association on March 24. More than 8,000 runners from the Chinese mainland and Taiwan will run through avenues of flowering peach trees.

They will also pass scenic spots such as Linjia and Tengtou villages.

This is the 29th year Fenghua, known as the "hometown of peaches," has hosted the event. 

World swimming champion Wang Shun, a native of Fenghua, has been appointed as tourism ambassador of the district. 

Fenghua, in south Ningbo, has many other attractions including Xuedou Mountain, Xikou-Tengtou Scenic Area and the Huangxian Forest Park. 

Shanghai and Ningbo will further promote the integrated tourism development of the Yangtze River Delta region, said Chen Ping, director of the promotion department of the Shanghai Administration of Culture and Tourism.

Last year, Fenghua received 23.6 million tourists, reaping a tourism revenue of 21.5 billion yuan (US$3.2 billion), an increase of 13.5 percent and 24.9 percent  from a year earlier. 

Cooperation agreements with travel agencies in Shanghai have been signed, and a joint tourism promotion center of Fenghua, Antu and Huichun in the Korean Autonomous Prefecture of Yanbian has been established in Shanghai.

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