The county wide Poetry Out Loud contest is returning to downtown Santa Rosa and open to the public.

The contest, which will feature top scoring students from Analy, Cloverdale, Creekside, El Molino, Elsie Allen, Maria Carrillo, Montgomery, Piner, Rancho Cotate, Roseland University Prep, Santa Rosa and Sonoma Academy high schools, is scheduled for Feb. 2 from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. at the Glaser Center, 547 Mendocino Ave.

The winner will advance to the state competition.

The competition pits students against each other as they perform oral interpretations of poems. Poetry Out Loud is a national recitation program initiated by the National Endowment for the Arts.