The stage is set for the 33rd National Games with United Progressive Alliance chairperson and Congress president Sonia Gandhi inaugurating the sporting extravaganza in Guwahati on Friday evening.
The five-hour inaugural function will be held at the new Indira Gandhi Stadium, which has been decked up for the show to be conducted by Mumbai-based events management firm Wizcraft.
Popular Assamese and Bollywood singer Zubeen Garg, senior artiste Khagen Mahanta, Bollywood singer Sukhwinder Singh, Assamese singers Sangeeta Kakati and Manas Robin will regale the audience at the show.
Around 1,000 artistes will perform in the opening ceremony that will showcase folk dances of Assam, including Mishing Bihu, Deuri Bihu, Moran Bihu, Dimasa, Jhumur, Hamjar and Domahi Kikan.
Besides traditional performances of Ghosa Kirtan, Gayan Bayan, Bordhol, Dhepadhol and Patidhol, there will be a dhol performance by Bodo, Karbi, Tiwa and Hajong tribals.
Apart from the display of traditional cultural, a state-of-the-art technological show featuring lasers and a computerised lighting system will be part of the ceremony.
The cultural show will be preceded by a march-past of the participants led by the Andaman and Nicobar Islands contingent while the rear will be brought by hosts Assam.
This will be followed by the lighting of a giant torch inside the sports complex by Arjuna awardee Bhogeswar Baruah with a flame being brought in relay by national award-winning former state sportspersons Tayabun Nisha, Dipankar Bhattacharya and Monalisa Barua Mehta.
Meanwhile, after four days of heavy rains the weather improved on Friday with the sun shining bright since morning.
More than 10,900 players and officials from 33 states and Union Territories are participating in the 10-day event to be played in 18 venues in and around Guwahati and in three places in neighbouring Morigaon district.
Actual sportspersons participating in the Games is 6,999 with hosts Assam sending the maximum number of 908 participants while neighbouring state Nagaland will make its debut in this edition of the National Games.
The 33rd National Games will also witness the maximum number of 32 sporting events with Lawn bowling, Rugby, Wushu and Karate making their debut.
Games mascot 'Rongmon', a rhino sometimes wearing dhoti and a Muga shirt with the traditional 'Gamocha' tied round its neck while sometimes clad sporting shorts and T-shirt, has become the cynosure of all eyes.