Tens of thousands of Indian-Americans gathered Aug. 13, on Oak Tree Road in Edison and Woodbridge, New Jersey, for the 13th India Day Parade hosted by the Indian Business Association. Bollywood star Riteish Deshmukh was the Grand Marshall.
The parade featured 19 floats, with the Air India and JFK Hospital floats drawing more attention, two marching bands, a number of walking groups and over 100 organizations, followed by a cultural program featuring local artists.
Organizers estimated a crowd of more than 40,000 enjoyed Bollywood patriotic hits, floats, and local and state-level officials joined them. “We had an amazing turnout, largest in the history of this event” Dhiren Amin, president of IBA, is quoted saying in a press release.
“We literally have hundreds of volunteers who worked around the clock to organize this event. I am really proud of our team” he added.
Also present at the parade were former Ambassador to Germany, Phil Murphy and Lieutenant Governor Kim Guadagno, both candidates for New Jersey Governor, along with several other elected officials including legislators, freeholders and mayors.
Edison Mayor Tom Lankey administered the oath of office to IBA Vice President Mahesh Bhagia, who has been appointed as Special Assistant to the Mayor for Edison Township.
“It was a historic moment” said Manher Shah, a trustee for IBA.
Chandrakant Patel, chairman for the organization thanked their sponsors, “Our sponsors are generous and supportive of the community. They should be commended,” Patel said.
Bollywood Actresses Tanushree Dutta and Mahima Chaudhry were the highlight of the annual India Parade on Hillside Avenue in Queens, orgaized by the Floral Park/Bellerose Indian Merchants Association on Saturday, Aug. 12.
Being the youngest organization to host an India Day Parade, only six floats and more than 30 organizations proceeded down Hillside Avenue where Staten Island Assemblywoman and Republican candidate for Mayor, Nicole Malliotakis was also present.
“Everybody is excited, we love India, this is our India, we are all Indian, we all are one,” Subhash Kapadia of the Floral Park-Bellerose Indian Merchants Association told NY1.com.
Atlantic City saw its eighth annual India Day Parade on Saturday, hosted by the South Jersey Indian Association, with six floats traveling from the Showboat Hotel down to Kennedy Plaza.
The event also featured food tastings, clothing and jewelry that were on sale and performances by children along with Bollywood music being played in the background.
Romesh Ruthnaswamy, special adviser and one of the founders of SJIA, is quoted saying that there were visitors from New York, Pennsylvania and Delaware at the event.
“It helps our local businesses, and we feel like we have to promote this. Atlantic City has a rich heritage here in the community. It’s a showcase,” he told The Press of Atlantic City.
The India Association of Central Connecticut had its own celebration of India’s Independence Day at the Capitol Building in Hartford, Connecticut where Gov. Dannel Malloy and State Rep. Prasad Srinivasan helped raise the flag of India which was followed by a cultural show.
The Asian Indian Americans of Central Pennsylvania also held a day-long celebration on Saturday at Harrisburg Area Community College in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
Many are still awaiting the 37th Annual India Day Parade in New York City which will be held by the FIA of NY-NJ-CT on Sunday, Aug. 20 at noon and will feature “Baahubali 2: The Conclusion” stars Rana Daggubati and Tamannaah Bhatia and many more.
The parade is expected to begin between 38th Street and Madison Avenue will end at 26th Street where a food court and sponsor booths will be set up between Park and Madison Avenues while the cultural programs will continue through 6 p.m. on Madison Avenue, between 24th and 26th Streets.
This year, India’s Independence Day will fall on a Tuesday and the country will celebrate 70 years of independence.