Malappuram: As the 53rd State School Art Festival here turned to its third day with huge crowds turning up for most of the events on all the 15 stages, Kozhikode took an early lead in the race for the gold cup, with 232 points, as it began its campaign for its seventh overall title in a row.
Palakkad is in the second place with 222 points, followed by Kannur (218), Thrissur (213), Malappuram (212), Ernakulum (205), Thiruvananthapuram (204), Alappuzha (204), Kollam (199) Kottayam (196), Wayanad (195), Kasargod (193), Idukky (187), and Pathanamthitta (170).
Kozhikode and Palakkad lead in the High School category with 111 points with Kannur following closely with 105 points.
Kozhikode also leads in the Higher Secondary category with 101 points. Kannur is in the second place with 99 points followed by Palakkad with 95 points.
Among the items held Tuesday, classical dances drew the biggest crowds. Dance lovers reached well in time to watch girls’ Bharatanatyam (HS) at the main venue of MSP Parade Ground and they were treated to some fine performances too.
Mohiniyattam (HSS) too was a big draw at the Kottappadi ground, which also saw folk song (Nadan Pattu) being introduced to the State festival. It turned out to be an entertaining debut, as the crowd was enthralled by a stunning variety of indigenous music. If the response is any indication, folk song — with its rustic charm of the lyrics and the raw, uninhibited way of singing — is going to be a big attraction in the coming years of the State School Art Festival.
Vanchippattu also made a promising beginning, at AUP School, where too a packed house came to see for what should for many them have been an unfamiliar sight.
However, the biggest crowd of the day was at the dining hall, where more than 20,000 feasted, which is probably a record for the School festival.