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State high school Oral Interp Festival starts Friday in Watertown
By Staff reports

December 05. 2013 9:22AM
The 104th annual State Oral Interpretation Festival will involve students from 87 South Dakota high schools. This year’s Festival is Friday and Saturday, Dec. 6 and 7 in Watertown at the Watertown Events Center and Watertown High School.

This year’s State Interpretation Festival competitors have qualified for the Festival through a combination local school, district and regional competitions. The Festival will feature a combined total of 309 Class “AA”, Class “A” and Class “B” entries.

Class “B” State Oral Festival competitors were determined by advancing from one of the 10 district contests to a Class “B” regional contests and advancing from their region contest to the State Festival. Class “A” State Festival competitors qualified for the State Festival after advancing from one of five Class “A” regional contests. Class “AA” contestants have advanced to the State Festival as a result of intraschool competition in their own schools.

The 2013 State Oral Interpretation Festival will showcase competitive performances by 98 entries from 14 Class “AA” schools, 106 entries from 28 Class “A” schools and 105 entries from 45 Class “B” schools.

The State Oral Interpretation Festival, sponsored by the South Dakota High School Activities Association, brings together South Dakota’s best high school oral interpretation speakers in a “festival” setting. During the State Festival the students will compete to achieve a “superior” rating, which is the equivalent of a state championship in their contest event. State Oral Interpretation Festival competition is divided into seven contest events: Non-Original Oratory, Interpretation of Serious Plays, Interpretation of Serious Prose, Poetry Reading, Humorous Reading, Duet Interpretation, and Readers Theatre.

The State Oral Interpretation Festival competition will begin at 10 a.m. Friday. The Festival's second and third sessions will be held at 2:30 Friday afternoon and at 7 that night. The Festival concludes with two sessions at 9 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. on Saturday. The awards for each session’s competition will be announced at the conclusion of the session. “Team Excellence” awards, recognizing the high schools whose overall entries excelled during the State Festival, will be presented at the conclusion of competition on Saturday afternoon.

The public is encouraged to attend any or all of the sessions of the State Festival.
The first State Declamation Contest was held in 1910 as part of the State High School Track and Field Meet. In 1911, the first statewide Declamation Contest was held independent of the State Track Meet.

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