Punjabi Mela 2022:Hundreds enjoy rollicking DJ music, sports,  games, dances, food, cultural activities in Palatine, Illinois

Women participating in the spoon and lemon race at the Sept. 18, 2022 Punjabi Mela held in Deer Grove East Forest Preserve in Palatine, a suburb of Chicago, organized by Punjabi Cultural Society of Chicago. Photo Kamaljit Virdi/PCS

CHICAGO: More than 400 people joined in the fun and games at the day-long Punjabi Mela Sept. 18, 2022, at Deer Grove East Forest Preserve in Palatine, a suburb of Chicago.

The Punjabi Cultural Society of Chicago (http://www.pcschicago.org/) hosted the Mela, organizing many activities ranging from culture to sports on an ideal day to be outdoors. And to beat it all, the entry was free as was the food and activities. The PCS is a not-for-profit, all-volunteer, community service organization devoted to promoting a healthy lifestyle and sports, education, good citizenship, Punjabi culture, language, and performing arts, in the metropolitan Chicago area and beyond.

For this festive event, the grounds were set up with tents, chairs and a stage.

Illinois State Rep. Michelle Mussman speaking to the more thatn 400 attendees at the Punjabi Mela Sept. 18, 2022, held in Palatine, organized by the Punjabi Cultural Society of Chicago. Photo: Kamaljit Virdi/PCS

“This Punjabi Mela was organized to get our community together with their families and children out in the fresh air for fun activities, sports and meeting people after the official relaxation of Covid19 pandemic restrictions,” P.C.S. president Parvinder Singh Nanua, is quoted saying in a press release from the organization.

The Sikh prayer, Shabad, was followed by the American national anthem sung by Mini Singh.

Illinois State Representatives Michelle Mussman and Mark Walker, State Senators Laura Murphy and Ann Gillespie, along with PCS officials and community leaders inaugurated the festival by releasing a bunch of helium balloons into the sunny sky.

Opening ceremonies with the guests of honor, at the Sept. 18, 2022 Punjabi Mela, where a bunch of helium balloons were launched into the sky at Deer Grove East Forest Preserve in Palatine, a suburb of Chicago.. Photo: Kamaljit Virdi/PCS

All the attending local area elected officials made congratulatory remarks about the event, and applauded the Punjabi community and the Punjabi Cultural Society of Chicago for its holistic approach to community-building efforts. Officials also celebrated the moment by dancing Punjabi Bhangra along with community members.

“Promoting physical activity by providing a platform through this kind of sports programming, the Punjabi Cultural Society is providing a tremendous service to the people of Chicagoland and aids them in achieving closer relationships and a healthier lifestyle,” said Kevin Atwal, the PCS chairman.

Many leaders of various Punjabi sports clubs attended to show their support, and made contributions.

“It was a day of physical and athletic activities, rest, conversations and meeting people who may have not seen each other for a while due to Covid19,” organizers said.

The little children stayed occupied jumping on the moon-walk bouncy clubhouse.

DJ music was blasting all day, as many vendors sold merchandize as well as services that attendees could get information about and avail of as needed.

Shot put competition at the Punjabi Mela held Sept. 18, 2022, at Deer Grove East Forest Preserve in Palatine, a suburb of Chicago, organized by Punjabi Cultural Society of Chicago. Photo: Kamaljit Virdi/PCS

All the participating athletes and spectators were served typical Punjabi food which included Chhole, Karhi, Naan, Chicken curry, Rice, Pakauras, Jalebis, hot tea and bottled water all day.

The competitive games included musical chairs, races for children and women, tug-of-war, javelin throw, and shot put. Women ran the spoon & lemon race. All activities went on throughout the day.

Other games included bean bag throws, kite flying, Frisbee throwing, and volleyball. Those who did not take part in games, enjoyed walks around the park.

Awards were presented to the winners by past PCS Chairmen and community leaders who attended the event, including Dr. Hargurmukh Pal Singh, Jaidev Bhattal, Harkewal Singh Lali, Amardev Bandesha, Harminder Girn, and Manjit Kaur.

Women’s tug-of-war competition at the Sept. 18, 2022, Punjabi Mela in Deer Grove East Forest Preserve in Palatine, a suburb of Chicago, organized by Punjabi Cultural Society of Chicago. Photo: Kamaljit Virdi/PCS

A young local Punjabi singer Palwinder Singh Sunny, sang a variety of heartwarming and nostalgic Punjabi folk songs. “The audience relaxing in their chairs or sitting on the grass like in a musical concert, soaking the lukewarm sun, listening to the music, relished the ambiance to its fullest,” organizers said.

“There was tons of fun for everyone,” said Rajinder Singh Mago who is on the PCS Board of Governors.

Those who worked hard to make the event a success included Parmjot Singh Parmar, Parvinder Singh Nanua, Vick Singh, Jigerdeep Dhillon, Bhupinder Singh Dhaliwal, Gurpreet Sidhu, Bikram Sohi, Gurlal Bhattal, Balwinder Girn, Mohinderjit Saini, Gurmit Dhillon, Bhinder Pamma, Paul Lail, Jasbir Palia, Surinder Palia, Sukhmel Atwal, Amarjit Atwal, Yadwinder Grewal, and Rajinder Singh Mago.

All the PCS Officials and several volunteers like Aman Kular were part of the organizing committee and helped out wherever  needed. The sound system was provided by DJ Shirish Shah. Food was catered by K.K. Pamma.

PCS’ next event is the Chicago Thanksgiving Day Parade on November 24, 2022 on State Street, Chicago.




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