Thiruvananthapuram: A slew of programmes have been arranged at various venues here as part of Onam festival week celebrations beginning on August 25, State Tourism Minister A P Anilkumar Thursday said.
"The city will come alive in a cultural extravaganza of music, dance, painting and martial arts programmes in the modern, traditional, folk and classical genres of Kerala," Anilkumar told reporters here.
"The celebrations will see the participation of 5,000 performing artistes, and will be hosted at 29 venues," he said.
"Though the government is facing an economic crunch, we are spending Rs three crore to put up an impressive show that lakhs of people can enjoy," he added.
Chief Minister Oommen Chandy will inaugurate the state-level celebrations at Nishagandhi Auditorium on August 25 by honouring renowned artistes.
The Onam Week celebrations venues include the Nishagandhi Auditorium, the Central Stadium, Poojapura ground, Museum Hall and Vyloppilly Samskrithi Bhavan.
Shankhumukham is also a key new venue this year.
The inaugural function at the main venue, Nishagandhi, is a 'Magical Melodies' music performance by a team led by K S Chithra and Sudeep, which will be followed by a tourism theme-song dance performance, and a dance performance by Rajasree Warrier.
A festive procession, jointly organised by the Tourism Department and the Kerala Sports Council, will march through the city on Thursday as a prelude to the Onam celebrations.
Other programmes include 'Journey of Rhythm' by percussionist Sivamani and Karunamoorthy, a musical night by playback singer Swetha Mohan and Bennet and Band, 'Ishal Raavukal' by playback singer Afsal and group.
Additionally, trade fairs and exhibitions will be conducted at Suryakanthi ground with the participation of Kudumbasree and government units, along with a food festival.
The celebrations will get a mega closing with a procession, exhibiting art forms from Kerala and other states, that starts at Vellayambalam and goes up to East Fort on August 31.
Kerala Tourism Director P I Sheikh Pareeth, Additional Director(General) T V Anupama were present at the press conference today, where the 'Onam theme' song and Onam programmes' brochure were launched.