The community organization, India Day Parade USA, IDP USA, held a car parade in Hicksville, Long Island, New York, Aug. 15, 2020, to celebrate India’s independence, avoiding the problems caused by the coronavirus and social distancing.
The parade “was so smooth and successful that now the talk is to make it an annual affair adding a few floats as in the previous parades,” organizers said in a press release.
The estimates of the number of cars displaying the tricolor that participated ranged from 150 to 200, according to IDP USA.
The cavalcade was led by a fire engine and the IDP USA float with Grand Marshall Dr Raj Bhayani, President Mukesh Modi and Grand Marshall Bhavna Chamoli waving to cheering bystanders along the route.
Starting from Patel Brothers on South Broadway at around 4.45 p.m. the cars wound their way back from Apna Bazar, ending before 6 pm at Badshah Farmers Market before 6 pm, where a cultural program was held and supporters of the parade honored.
Beginning with the lamp lighting ceremony and singing of national anthems of the two nations, several dignitaries addressed the gathering including Deputy Consul General of India Shatrughna Sinha (Guest of Honor), Town of Oyster Bay Supervisor Joe Saladino, State Senator Kevin Thomas, and Nassau County’s Farrah Mozawalla.
Founders of the parade, Bobby Kumar Kalotee and Kamlesh Mehta as well as Dr Raj Bhayani also spoke.
President Mukesh Modi thanked his team, as well as the Town of Oyster Bay, and Nassau County for their help in organizing the ‘Car Parade’.
Sponsors and VIP Guests were honored by Supervisor Saladino, DCG Sinha and Grand Marshall Chamoli.
The local community which participated made sure to observe social distancing as per Covid-19 restrictions, organizers said in the press release.
Many viewers of the Car Parade sent laudatory messages to the IDP USA team. Hundreds also accessed the proceedings on Radio Zindagi and social media platforms like YouTube, the press release said.
IDP USA has held the India Day Parade in Hicksville since 2012 bringing together more than 100 community organizations under one umbrella.
“Given the success of this Hicksville event and a drive-by celebration of India Day in Washington DC and another car parade in New Jersey, the community’s passion and patriotism for our motherland remains as strong as ever,” organizers said, noting that the pandemic would not deter them, “and in fact, the crisis has taught us a new way to celebrate India.”