The week-long north Bengal festival will be inaugurated on January 7. South Dinajpur and Cooch Bihar districts have been selected as the venue of the programme.
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee will not be able to attend the festival because of the global business meet to be held in Kolkata from January 7 to 9.
It has been decided that seven artistes will be given Bangaratna award on the occasion. However, names of the awardees have not yet been finalised. Besides, 100 blocks will be given Rs 1 lakh each.
In Jalpaiguri, a Marathon race and sit and draw competition will be held where nearly 15,000 students will participate. The organisers claimed that this will be the biggest race to be held during a festival.
Artisans from all the districts of north Bengal will come to display their products. The mask industry of Dinajpur which has gathered momentum after Chief Minister took special interest will be the centre of attraction. Every year thousands of buyers throng around this stall to buy masks. It may be mentioned that foreigners visit Dinajpur every year to buy masks.
The conditions of the artisans who produce the masks became worse due to indifferent of the Left Front government. But the situation has changed now with people keen interest to prove them.
The folk culture of North Bengal will be projected through this fair. Folk artistes will perform during the cultural shows that attract thousands of people.