Pulsating contests in store at State School Arts Festival

Kollam will host about 20,000 contestants, teachers and parents between January 4 and 8. The district is hosting the fete, which will have 239 events, after a gap of 14 years.

Updated - January 04, 2024 12:08 pm IST

Published - January 03, 2024 07:21 pm IST - KOLLAM

The gold cup for the overall champions at the State School Arts Festival being given a reception at Chinnakada in Kollam on Wednesday.

The gold cup for the overall champions at the State School Arts Festival being given a reception at Chinnakada in Kollam on Wednesday.

The venues are set to showcase a dazzling array of arts and the air is buzzing with festive spirit. As curtains go up on the 62nd edition of State School Arts Festival, Kollam is all geared to host the fete after a long gap of 14 years. A total of 239 events that also include competitions in Sanskrit Kalolsavam and Arabic Kalolsavam will be held across 24 venues during the five-day festival.

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The 54-acre Asramam Maidan is the main venue with a 60,000 sq ft pandal that can accommodate more than 10,000 persons at a time. About 20,000 contestants, their escorting teachers and parents will reach the city between January 4 and 8 while tens of thousands of art enthusiasts from Kollam and nearby districts are also expected.

Appeal committee

The authorities have constituted a State-level appeal committee to handle disputes about the decision of the judges. Accommodation for the contestants has been arranged in 14 schools and all necessary facilities, including the service of police, will be ensured. Around 2,475 boys and 2,250 girls will be staying in these schools. Help desks have been arranged at the railway station and bus stand to receive them and the registration for various events began on Wednesday morning.

Food arrangements

While a digital programme scoreboard has been installed to display the points status and results of various events, medical services will be provided with the help of private hospitals. Food for 20,000 persons will be prepared every day and it will be served to 2,200 people at the same time. All city bus services and KSRTC ordinary buses will ply via Chinnakada, Asramam, and Kadapakkada from Thursday till the festival ends. Twenty-five autorickshaws will operate a free service to transport the contestants to various venues while the Gramavandi run by the Kollam Corporation will provide free rides to the students.

Hoisting of the flag by the Director of General Education S. Shanawas at 9 a.m. will mark the official beginning of the festival. It will be followed by cultural programmes by differently abled children. For the first time in its history, a tribal art form will be part of the festival as students from Kasaragod Government Model Residential School will perform Mangalamkali. Actor and dancer Asha Sarath and students will present the dance adaptation of the welcome song before inauguration. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan will inaugurate the event while Minister of General Education V. Sivankutty will preside over the function. Ministers K.N. Balagopal, K. Rajan, J. Chinchurani, K.B. Ganesh Kumar, P.A. Mohamed Riyas, and actor Nikhila Vimal will be the chief guests. Actor Mammootty will be the guest of honour at the valedictory function on January 8.

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