Mayor attends Holi celebrations at Navy Pier in Chicago 

Holi being celebrated at Navy Pier, Chicago, March 23, 2024. PHOTO: Asian Media USA

On Saturday, March 23, 2024, the Delhi Committee of Chicago Sister Cities International, ComEd and Navy Pier, came together to host this year’s Global Connections: Holi event.

“As the Chairman of the Delhi Chicago Sister Cities Committee, it’s really an honor to present and be a part of this Holi celebration,” Smita N. Shah is quoted saying in an Asian Media USA press release. Shah is also president and CEO of SPAAN Tech, Inc. “Navy Pier’s Global Connections Program curated a memorable celebration that has grown into the largest program in the United States for Holi.  Chicago Sister Cities International is proud to be its partner as it represents why we do what we do: honor the diverse international communities that make up Chicago, celebrate the best of their culture and support the desire for others to experience the American Dream, all of which makes Chicago stronger,” Shah added.

Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson lauded the Windy City’s diversity as well. “Holi is a reminder that good always triumphs over evil and those forces that wish to divide us, make no mistake about it, not here in the city of Chicago. Black. Brown. White. Asian. Young. Old. Rich. Poor. We are the greatest city in the world because of the diversity that makes up this city,” Johnson said. “Chicago’s positive impact is felt all around the world…thanks to the hard work of Chicago Sister Cities International and the volunteer work of our committee members like Smita [Shah], who are so passionate about our city, so passionate about diplomacy and so passionate about our democracy,” he added.

Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson and Smita N. Shah, chair of the Delhi Committee of Chicago Sister Cities International, pose for a photo March 23, 2024, at Holi celebrations held on Navy Pier, Chicago. PHOTO: Asian Media USA

The free, public event held in the Aon Grand Ballroom and Navy Pier Beer Garden featured live music, traditional cultural performances, authentic food from local vendors, the iconic powder-throwing (which pay homage to the bright colors of spring and represent the triumph of good over evil) and more.

The Delhi Committee of Chicago is known for establishing the  Annual Legacy of Mahatma Gandhi Luncheon that it held in 2014. Shah, who serves on President Biden’s Advisory Commission on Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islanders, also helped secure the designation of October 2nd as Mahatma Gandhi Day in Chicago, the press release said.

Pratima Shah and Niranjan S. Shah, major supporters of the Holi celebrations held March 23, 2024, at Navy Pier, Chicago. PHOTO: Asian Media USA

The March 23 Holi program was supported by Niranjan S. Shah and Pratima Shah, the winner of the Pravasi Bharatiya Award, Darryl Tom after whom the Ping Tom Park is named, and the Sue Ling Gin Foundation.

India’s Consul General in Chicago Somnath Ghosh noted there were about 260,000 Indian, Indian American, Indian origin people in Chicagoland, “So thank you, Mayor, for making it a great home for them and for hosting Holi every year.” said.

“This is the second year of celebration for me, and I see it is even bigger than last year. I hope to see the event continue to grow in the years to come and look forward to many more celebrations in Chicago,” Ghosh said.



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