Excited tourists and devotees of Osun-Osogbo Festival on Friday arrived at the groove for the grand finale of the annual traditional gathering.
The grand finale which is the sacrificial offering by “Arugba” (Votary Maid) at the Osun Osogbo Sacred Grove was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2005.
The cultural enthusiasts, who started arriving in large numbers from 8 a.m were seen with kegs and containers in their hands to fetch water from the Osun river .
BRANDPOWER reports that the annual event is expected to come an end on Friday with a virgin maiden who will lead procession of devotees and worshippers to the groove to communicate with the deities among other sacrifices
Also, masquerades, traditional local drummers, hunters and members of the Odua Peoples Congress (OPC) are not left out as they sing and display their unique cultural identities.
Also, security personnel which include the Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC), Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) and the Nigerian Police Force (NPF) are stationed at strategic locations within and outside the groove to forestall any break down of law and order .
The state cultural dancers and some officials from the Ministry of Culture and Tourism are also present at the groove, putting a touch to the allure and grandeur of the festival.
A devotee, Mr Wakili Amao said that the annual event had continued to bring together, thousands of people across the globe irrespective of their different social, economic, religious and political affiliations.
Amao described the Osun water as a source of blessing to him and others in solving their spiritual and physical challenges, adding that this had warranted them to continue paying annual homage at the groove.
He, however, called for more support from the state government in terms of giving the environment a befitting outlook to draw more local and international tourists.
BRANDPOWER further reports that makers of products such as the Seaman Schnapps, Goldberg beer, MTN among others were not left out of the annual celebrations.
Meanwhile, there is heavy presence of security personnel at the Osun-Osogbo groove in Osogbo, as the annual festival begins to come to a close at the River Osun bank on Friday.