Sambalpur, Dec. 28: Local cultural groups will be given preference to perform in the Sambalpur Lok Mahotsav, which is scheduled to begin on January 4.
Nine cultural teams from nine blocks of Sambalpur district will perform in the Lok Mahotsav this year. Besides, six cultural teams from the city, four national-level cultural teams and 12 teams from other districts of the state are scheduled to participate in the three-day cultural extravaganza. The city will witness a congregation of more that 500 artistes.
“The decision to include more local cultural groups was taken to encourage and inspire local artists and preserve local dying arts. This year, a procession of artists will start from the Samaleswari temple and travel through various parts of the city,” said co-ordinator of the Sambalpur Lok Mahotsav, Santosh Dash.
“Around 600 students from several educational institutions of Sambalpur had taken part in an art competition that was held on December 25. Selected works will be exhibited at the mahotsav,” said Dash.
Apart from local folk dances such as Dhap, Pala, Samparda, Jumer and Sanchar, people will get an opportunity to watch bhangra from Punjab, baul from Bengal, bardoi from Madhya Pradesh and chhau from Purulia, Bengal.
The festival began in 1997 with the aim to encourage and preserve dying art forms. The folk festival has succeeded in giving a fresh lease of life to some of them. “The estimated budget for the Lok Mahotsav this year is more than Rs 13 lakh,” said culture officer of Sambalpur, Sanatan Naik.