Record crowd enjoys Naperville, Illinois India Day Parade and celebrations

Organizers estimate more than 40,000 people attended the Naperville, Illinois India Day Parade and celebrations Aug. 14, 2022, on the eve of India’s Independence Day which falls on Aug. 15. Photo: Jayanti Oza

The organization, Indian Community Outreach (ICO) of Naperville, Illinois, held an outstanding India Day Parade attracting record crowds to the August 14, 2022, for the 75th anniversary of India’s independence – more popularly called, Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav. Bollywood star, Guru Randhawa, brought the excitement as the Grand Marshal, waving the Indian tricolor as he led the Parade.

This was Naperville’s eighth India Day Parade & Celebration, and organizers estimate it attracted more than 40,000 attendees from around the U.S., the largest ever.

A feature-rich event, the celebrations attracted talents in art, dance, music, and culture that went on for the whole day. India’s diversity in food, culture, music, and other areas was on display.

Heartthrob Bollywood singer Guru Randhawa, Grand Marshal of the Naperville, Ill., India Day Parade and celebrations, performed for more than two hours Aug. 14, 2022. Photo: Jayanti Oza

The colorful parade had more than 70 entries including 15 intricately decorated floats sponsored by various community organizations, businesses, and restaurants; Over 50 booths presenting their products; a health fair; an international food court with local and out-of-state vendors; and ethnic Indian bazaar with fashion, clothing, and jewelry kept attendees occupied.

Krishna Bansal chairman of Indian Community Outreach and main organizer of the India Day Parade Aug. 14. 2022, gesturing and giving information about program. Photo: Jayanti Oza

Chairman/President of the ICO Krishna Bansal, said the celebrations and the Parade were aimed at engaging Indian Americans into the mainstream of America. Not only does the event create awareness and respect for India, it brings out the love and pride for India among younger generations. During the event, Bansal specially recognized the dignitaries, partners, sponsors, media, volunteers and everyone who contributed to the success of the event.

One of the dance groups performing at the Aug. 14, 2022 India Day Parade and celebrations in Naperville, Illilnois. Photo: Jayanti Oza

People lined the mile-long Parade route waving flags of both the United States and India. More than 20 states of India were represented during the event which was aired live by many media outlets, including NCTV17 and TV Asia.

Two unique highlights of the parade were the presence of more than 60 motor bikers of Indian origin, and an  exhibition of exotic cars. The crowd cheered as the cars and bikes roared through the parade route

The talent show included vibrant performances by well-known dance groups of Chicagoland. The winners of the talent show were dance teams from Meera Dance & Arts and The Dynamites 5.

Another dance group that performed at the India Day Parade and celebrations in Naperville, Illinois, Aug. 14, 2022. Photo: Jayanti Oza

The free Health Fair with multiple providers were availed of by many senior citizens getting checked for blood pressure, blood sugar, bone density screening. Services like physical therapy, fall-risk screening, pain management, body composition screening and sleep apnea were available under one roof to answer questions.

Indian-American seniors enjoying “Azadi ka Amrut Mahotsav” songs
on one of the many floats in the Naperville, Illinois India Day Parade and Celebrations Aug. 14, 2022. Photo: Jayanti Oza

The evening program kicked off with the American national anthem followed by the Indian national anthem.

Acclaimed Indian singer, Guru Randhawa, set the stage on fire with several Bollywood hit songs, including unforgettable melodies non-stop for 2 hours.

Consul General of India Amit Kumar, was the Guest of Honor at the event with his wife Surabhi Kumar. He congratulated ICO and wished everyone Happy Independence Day of India. Congressmen Bill Foster, Raja Krishnamoorthi, Senate President Don Harmon, IL Treasurer Michael Ferric, Senator and Governor Nominee Darren Baily. Mayor Steve Chirico along with scores of elected Judges, Senators, Representatives, County Members, Township Trustees, Mayors, Councilmen and prominent leaders of Chicago and Naperville also attended the popular event.

ICO acknowledged the contribution of Indian Healthcare workers and conferred the Community Pride Awards on Dr. Santosh Kumar, Dr. Umang Patel and Dr. Sreenivas Reddy for their exemplary contributions to the community.

Vinod Vasisth, ICO Board Member, said that the Parade has surpassed expectations in both magnitude and participation. “We are constantly working to raise the bar to prove to the world that the Indian-Americans are the best, both as human beings and professionals,” he said.

Treasurer of ICO Viral Shah noted how the event was free for the public. “A program of this magnitude takes a village to put up and that is what our core team does year after year. This was made possible with the generous support of our sponsors, including multiple Technology Companies, many corporates and local organizations,” Shah said.

Krishna Bansal announced that the celebrations would be back next year and urged everyone to join the outreach efforts.

(Details of this event and the photos were provided by community member and attendee at the event Jayanti Oza)



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