Pakistan’s 75th Independence Day celebrated in New Jersey

View of the crowd that gathered in Papaianni Park in Edison, NJ on Aug. 29, 2021, to celebrate Pakistan’s 75th Independence Day which falls on Aug. 14. Photo: courtesy, organizers

On Aug. 29, 2021, the Pakistani Community of New Jersey celebrated Pakistan Day Parade to mark that country’s 75th Independence Day which falls on August 14.

Bhangra dancing and other ethnic cultural aspects were showcased at the Pakistan Independence Day celebrated Aug. 29, 2021 in Edison, NJ. Photo: courtesy organizers

The event was held at Papaianni Park, Edison, NJ, on Aug. 29, 2021. (The event was originally planned a week earlier but postponed due to rain). The green and white colors of the Pakistani flags lit up the park. More than 60 vendors and 5,000 attendees were present to showcase different aspects of Pakistan’s rich cultural heritage – from ethnic Pakistani dresses to a chai truck, Bhangra dances, dhol performance, mehndi, and stalls selling assorted green and white paraphernalia.

The parade included colorful floats, decorated cars and motorcycles.

Enthusiasm was running high amidst the attendees and national songs were sung.

At the end of the hour-long parade, first responders from the Pakistani community, including doctors, nurses and pharmacists, were recognized for playing a vital role in the Covid-19 pandemic. Free Covid-19 Vaccines were administered on site.

This year’s celebration was attended by a number of elected officials from the federal, state, and local level including  Congressman Frank Pallone, Middlesex Democratic Chairman Kevin McCabe, Mayor Tom Lankey, Mayor Jonathan Bush, Mayor Brad Cohen, Mayor Derek Armsted, County Clerk Nancy Pinkin, Senator Pat Diegnan, Assemblyman Sterley Stanley, Assemblyman Robert Karabinchak, Commisioner Shanti Narra, Commisioner Charles Tomaro, Surrogate  Clarible Cortes, and Commissioner Chanelle Scott McCullum.

Consul General of Pakistan in New York, Ayesha Ali, 2nd from left, with Parade organizer Sam Khan, left, at the Aug. 29, 2021 Pakistan Independence Day celebrations in Edison, NJ. Photo: courtesy organizers

Pakistan’s Consul General, Aisha Ali, was present at the flag hoisting ceremony.

The event ended with a rousing music concert featuring Saima Kashif, Naeem Abbas Rafi, and Nouman Khalid. A mix of traditional and contemporary songs reverberated throughout the park.

The event was organized by entrepreneur, politician and community activist Sam Khan’s team, and through the support of sponsors from the Pakistani community.

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