The Kerala University Youth Festival will begin at Cherthala on Thursday, with varsity vice-chancellor A. Jayakrishnan to hoist the flag at 5 p.m. after a colourful folk song procession reaches the main venue, the Vayalar Ramavarma Nagar at the SNMGB Higher Secondary School Grounds.

The formal inauguration of the six-day event will be on Friday, with cine actor Mohanlal slated to light the lamp at the main venue at 5 p.m. Mr. Mohanlal will be accompanied by Finance Minister T.M. Thomas Isaac, Forests and Environment Minister Binoy Viswom, K.C. Venugopal, MP, Mr. Jayakrishnan and others. A procession, comprising of students from all participating colleges in the district, will precede the inaugural function. The procession will start at 2 p.m. from the Holy Family School grounds.

Over 5,000 students from about 200 colleges spread over four districts will compete in 62 events, which will be held at eight venues in Cherthala, which is hoisting the event after a decade. Already the town has been decorated with posters, banners and hoardings, while publicity programmes, including announcements on a horse carriage, are underway, reception committee chairman and District Panchayat president R. Nazar told a press conference here on Wednesday.

A reception committee comprising 251 members is making arrangements, while separate committees including a programme committee headed by A.M. Arif, MLA, are monitoring the rest of the preparations.

The festival, which will conclude on January 26, will be held at the Vayalar Ramavarma Nagar (SNMGBHSS), the Rajan P. Dev Nagar (Government Girls High School), Bharath Murali Nagar (SNMGBHSS Auditorium), Lohithadas Nagar (SNDP Hall), the Irayimman Thampi Nagar (Dewaswom Auditorium), S.L. Puram Sadanandan Nagar (Town LPS), the Kamala Surayya Nagar (Brahmana Samooham Madom) and the Thakazhi Nagar (Government Girls HS Hall).

General convener Manu C. Pulickal, Mr. Arif, programme committee convener Bipin C. Babu, University Union chairman K. Pradeep and general secretary Prahas Nair were also present at the media conference.

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