Tea and tourism, the main economic activities of the Nilgiris, occupied centre stage here on Saturday with the administration organising jamboree to acknowledge their significant contribution to the welfare of this small but significant district and its people.

The jamboree raised the curtain on a three-day tea and tourism festival, titled ‘Ootea Fest'. With the Tea Board and various departments extending a helping hand to the district administration, the jamboree set in motion a memorable manner this year's season-related activities.

It was flagged off at the Central Bus Stand by Tourism Minister S. Gokula Indira in the presence of the Nilgiris Collector Archana Patnaik, cheered by an enthusiastic crowd as it wound its way to the Breeks Open Air Stadium. With the police band in the vanguard, the jamboree included Badagas in their traditional gear, members of self-help groups, schoolchildren and folk dancers.

The presence of a number of colourful floats was a highlight of the event. While the float of the Tea Board bagged the first prize, the Tourism Department walked away with the second prize, and third went to the Forest Department.

At the exhibition organised as part of the festival, a number of tea manufacturing units and self-help groups have put up stalls.