Onam fete to conclude tomorrow, Kerala Guv to flag off cultural pageantry

Thiruvananthapuram, Sep 1 (UNI) The week-long Onam celebrations organised by the Kerala Tourism Department will draw to a close on Saturday evening with a colourful cultural pageantry, followed by a star-studded valedictory ceremony at the Nishagandhi auditorium in the city, where the mega cultural festival kicked off on August 27.

Minister for Tourism and Public Works P A Mohamed Riyas will inaugurate the valedictory function at 7 pm.

Minister for General Education and Labour V Sivankutty, Minister for Health and Women and Child Development Ms Veena George, Minister for Food and Civil Supplies G R Anil, and Transport Minister Antony Raju will be present.

Actors Shane Nigam, Neeraj Madhav, and Antony Varghese (Pepe) will also attend the closing ceremony, where Harisankar’s music band will be the highlight.

Prizes to the winners of various competitions held as part of the Onam celebrations will be given away at the valedictory function.

Governor Arif Mohammed Khan will flag off the cultural pageantry at 5 pm at Manaveeyam Veedhi, marking the finale of the festival that enthralled people across the state since last Sunday. Speaker of the Kerala Legislative Assembly A N Shamseer will be the chief guest.

Tourism Minister Riyas will hand over the traditional wind instrument ‘Kombu’ to the main artiste, thereby setting the rhythm for the spectacle to wend its way along the thoroughfares of the city.

The show will offer vivid glimpses into the diverse artistic and cultural heritage of the country and the state, featuring spectacular floats and a variety of classical and folk traditions.

Around 3,000 artistes will be participating in the pageantry, featuring 60 floats that reflect the rich cultural fabric of the state and the country. As many as 10 art forms will be from other states and nearly180 artistes from other states will join the show. The show will wind up at East Fort, after moving through the heart of the city from Vellayambalam.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan inaugurated the celebrations on August 27, setting the stage for a variety of classical, folk, ethnic, and popular art forms to come alive in multiple venues in the state capital and districts across the state for a week, based on the core theme ‘Onam the symphony of harmony.’

The festival, held in scores of venues in the capital city and district centres, elicited huge public response across the state.

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