The evening event was opened to the public and was attended by hundreds of people, including Prince Khaled bin Salman, Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to Washington.
The mood was festive and Saudis of all ages and of both sexes displayed their patriotism. Some wore traditional dress, and others joined in singing folk songs performed by musical groups. There was a marked presence of women and children. Visitors were free to mingle and had access to the whole venue, which featured a section for children with games, face painting and balloon animals.
This year’s event also highlighted the Kingdom’s cultural diversity. The center of the venue featured performances of traditional dances from various regions of the Kingdom, including Riyadh and Makkah. In another section, all 13 provinces were represented, with displays of food, photos and artifacts. The food featured traditional Saudi dishes such as kabsa, gareesh and marqouq.
Guests were given gift bags that contained a Saudi flag, a pin and a pamphlet chronicling milestones in the history of the Kingdom.