More than 20 Hilliard students are expected to participate in the Hilliard Optimist Club Oratorical Contest at 9 a.m. Saturday, March 3, at Heritage Golf Club, 3525 Heritage Club Drive.

Students in fifth grade through 12th grade will participate in the contest.

The oratorical contest, started in 1928, is the longest running Optimist International Program, according to Chris Lardiere, past president of the Hilliard Optimist Club.

The program has been in Hilliard for almost 60 years, he said.

”The contest is designed for young people to gain experience in public speaking and provides them with an opportunity for college scholarships,” said Lardiere, who will serve as a judge.

The public is welcome to attend but asked to remain aware of potential distractions, such a small children, that could disturb speakers, he said, and photos and videos of the speakers are restricted.

Those arriving late will be asked to remain outside until the current speaker is finished, Lardiere said.

– Kevin Corvo