TENS of thousands of people are expected to turn out for a string of events to celebrate Bahrain's National Day and His Majesty the King's Accession to the throne today.
Highlights include an operetta, free hot air balloon rides, music shows, folklore performances, festivals, a marathon, walkathon, bicycle race and a free health consultation camp.
Free hot air balloon rides for the public will be held over two days.
A team from UAE Balloon, based in Dubai, is being flown in to give people a unique opportunity to see Bahrain like never before.
It will be based at the Heritage Village, near Bahrain National Museum, Manama, and take people 100m into the sky for a rare bird's-eye view of Manama.
The rides are scheduled from 3pm to 10pm today and tomorrow.
A fireworks display will be part of a festival marking the National Day by the Central Municipal Council.
The 10-minute show will take place today at Al Estiqlal Walkway, Isa Town, starting from 5pm.
The event will be open to the public free of charge and will include the distribution of Bahraini flags to visitors and toys for children.
It will also feature recreational games for children, performances by clowns, traditional Bahraini dances and various competitions, being held until 11.30pm.
A music show will be held at the Bahrain National Stadium, Isa Town, tonight at 9pm.
There will also be a traditional bazaar, featuring Bahraini arts and crafts and food stalls, will be held at the village today and tomorrow. A festival at Arad Fort will be held under the patronage of the Crown Prince's son Shaikh Isa bin Salman Al Khalifa tomorrow at 3.30pm.
It will feature fireworks, traditional music as well as other cultural activities.
An operetta will also be held tomorrow and Thursday under the patronage of His Majesty King Hamad.
Zajel Press is organising the event in co-operation with various Arab and international firms. Leading Arab singers and musicians will perform at the show at Bahrain National Stadium, Isa Town.
Bahrain's economic growth, major investment projects and other development schemes will be highlighted.
Artists from Jordan and Lithuania will also give a folklore performance at the Cultural Hall, near the museum, on December 18.
A festival will also be held by the Social and Development Ministry at the Al Estiqlal Walkway on Friday and Saturday. The event, under the patronage of Minister Dr Fatima Al Balooshi, is being organised in co-operation with other ministries and civil societies.
The festival will feature a products exhibition by social centres, food stalls, children and youth activities, cultural competitions for children, traditional musical band and games among other attractions.
It will also include a marathon race for school and university students, the disabled and people with special needs.
The festival would be held under the theme 'Love and loyalty for the country and the leader'.
It will be open to the public free of charge from 10am to 10pm on both days.
A National Day run, walkathon and bicycle race will be held on Saturday at the car park near Bahrain Airport Services' Aircraft Training Centre.
It is being held under the patronage of Deputy Premier and Civil Aviation Affairs Minister Shaikh Ali bin Khalifa Al Khalifa from 7.30am to 11am.
Meanwhile, Al Hilal Hospital, in Muharraq, is offering a free consultation camp for the public today, from 9am to noon and 4.30pm to 9.30pm.