The 14th edition of the annual Dhenkanal Mahotsav, a festival showcasing culture and development, will kick off at the stadium here on October 31. The five-day event is being hosted by the Dhenkanal administration.
The movement of hosting district-level festivals in Odisha was launched in 1985 with Dangar Mahotsav in Koraput.
All the 30 districts have been hosting their annual festivals, providing a platform for the artistes and artisans of the State and from other parts of the country to showcase their talent while earning from their participation.
“The festival will witness colourful cultural programmes to be staged by the artistes of Eastern Zonal Cultural Center, Kolkata,” said District Collector Bishnu Prasad.
Various competitions from gram panchayat to the block level were held prior to the festival and the winners will be felicitated at the inaugural event of the Mahotsav.
The festival will also feature a Pallishree Mela, showcasing nearly 188 stalls and participation of individuals, SHGs and institutions from 13 states and 29 districts of Odisha. The fair offers glimpses of the works of the artisans and craftsmen besides information on the development initiatives of the government.
Chief Executive Officer of District Supply and Marketing Society, Nigam Das, said the administration is aiming at Rs 3-crore business this year against Rs 2.64 crore last year.
Unlike previous years, the mini stadium will be used exclusively for food courts. As many as 20 food stalls will be put up selling traditional items like ‘Mudhi Mansa’, Puri Mansa’ and ‘Rasaballi’, among other things.
The festival coincides with famed and age-old Gajalakshmi puja of Dhenkanal town that pulls large chunk of visitors from far and wide. Odisha Tourism Development Corporation (OTDC) has special package tours for the visitors of Cuttack and Bhubaneswar for the puja and the Mahotsav.