Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Kerinci district which is nationally famous for its Mount Kerinci and export-quality Kayo Aro tea is to stage its annual Lake Kerinci Festival for the 11th time next July. The event will among other things feature various traditional art shows and entertainments.

Previous Lake Kerinci Festivals were usually held at the end of the year in an effort to lure a large numbers of domestic and foreign tourists.

This year (2011) the festival will be held from July 6 to 11, 2011, Arlis Harun, head of Kerinci district`s tourist office, said here on Thursday (May 26).

The reason for organizing the festival much earlier than in previous year because in the second and third weeks of July this year school students will have a relatively long vacation.

Therefore, the local administration expressed hope that the festival can increase tourist visits to the most-western district of Jambi province.

Arlis Harun also believed recently that on the long holidays many students are normally interested in climbing Mount Kerinci which is the highest mountain on Sumatra island.

"The mountain`s volcanic activity is stable, or it is not dangerous for climbing," Arlis Harun quoted a report as saying.

According to him, recently a number of Kerinci district military (Kodim) 0417 personnel led by Lt. Col. (Inf) Eko Prayitno, together with a number of nature loving people, local government officials, and community, scaled the mountain.

On the occasion, hundreds of climbers hoisted the national red-and-white flag at the top of the mountain coinciding with the commemoration of National Awekening Day on May 20.

Although Mount Kerinci is open for climbing activity, the students and people who wish to climb should obey the rules, the official warned.

Regarding another interesting point for visitors, Arlis Harun said that Lake Kerinci is also home to rare types of fish such as the locally known "Semah" fish that weighs about two kilograms each.

Other species of fish like the tilapia, including carp fish which roving, gathering and moving in groups in the lake, look fun in the two-acre wide lake.

Lake Kerinci which is located in the cool temperate region, has very beautiful panorama and equipped with swift river flows and full of mount rocks which can be used as a playground and a bathing facility.

Over the Lake Kerinci festival, Arlis said a culinary competition among others offering lake fish dishes is expected to highlight the Lake Kerinci festival.

The festival will be more attractively held by the community of Lake Kerinci (FMPDK) compared with that of the last year, he said.

In addition, the festival`s organizing committee will also conduct three unique events different from the previous year`s, namely blowing straw stem whistles, floating party in the middle of the lake, and a buffalo-parade of pulling the non-wheel carts, he said.

The three unique events will be held for the first time this year, he noted.

Meanwhile, prior to the festival opening ceremony, the local marine and fisheries affairs office will also spread some 20,000 locally well-known "semah" fish in the lake, which became the center of freshwater fish development, said Herman Rahim, head of the local marine and fisheries office.

Other competitions will include fishing and fish grilling, the festival organizing committee said.

During the festival, the local tourist office will also promote several tourist resorts such as the smoky Telun waterfalls and a hot water center.

The festival organizing committee also planned to hold cultural and artistic performances from sub-districts and even villages.

In effort support the upcoming festival Kerinci district administration was trying to seek air transportation by utilizing

Fokker-50 aircraft with a capacity of 50 passengers, said Guldiyanto, head of the district transportation office.

Guldiyanto cited that the inauguration of first flight schedule to Kerinci that had been twice delayed, namely on April 25, and May 6, 2011.

However, the flight delays were caused by the lack of flight permit from the Director General of Civil Aviation, Ministry of Transportation.

Apart from that, head of Youth and Sports affairs office of Kerinci district Arlis Harun said that the festival which will take place along with the long school holidays is expected to lure many domestic and foreign visitors.

However to anticipating the accommodation facilities for the visitors, so far there are only six hotels available in the Kerinci town of Sungai Penuh.

Apart from that, chairman of the Indonesian guides association ((HPI) criticized the local administration about development effort of the local tourist destination following ten times of the Lake Kerinci Festival implementation.

Reporter: by Bustanuddin
Editor: Priyambodo RH
Copyright © ANTARA 2011