Colors of East festival coming June 1-4

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The 10th Colors of the East will bog down Pattaya Beach June 1-4 and may even cause more traffic than in previous years.

City Manager Wuthipol Charoenpol hosts a meeting to announce next week’s Colors of East festival.
City Manager Wuthipol Charoenpol hosts a meeting to announce next week’s Colors of East festival.

Pattaya City Manager Wuthipol Charoenpol announced the regional tourism-promotion event May 15, but also expressed concern about a lack of cooperation from Rayong, Chan­thaburi and Trat provinces on transportation and security, saying this year’s festival could see more traffic problems than in past years, when it already was bad.

He said there also were concerns over space management and street vendors. For this year’s event, the city plans to ban all street vendors in an attempt to improve the city’s image.

It’s worth noting city hall made the same promise last year, only to break it when push came to shove. About 250 product hawkers stormed the February 2016 event and city hall caved, with officials deciding they’d simply charge them 500 baht each to clean up their messes.

Colors of the East, organized each year by the four Eastern Seaboard provinces, aims to give the public an opportunity to experience the culture of Chonburi, Rayong, Chantaburi and Trat. Each festival has featured 120-200 booths selling locally made products, cooked meals and fresh seafood while travel agents hawk package tours to the East.

Traffic traditionally is plunged into chaos with the closing of Beach Road at 4 p.m. each day. Soi Buakhao and Second Road both end up resembling parking lots as people look for alternatives to the closed major artery.