India Day celebration in Naperville showcases the rich culture

CHICAGO: The fifth India Day Parade and Celebration on the occasion of India’s 73rd Independence Day organized by the Indian Community Outreach (ICO) in Naperville, a southwest suburb of Chicago, August 11 turned out to be a big affair and a huge success judging by the very large attendance by Indian-Americans across Chicagoland, neighbouring states and others parts of the country

Air India crew participating in India Day parade
Air India crew participating in India Day parade

Organizers put the crowd figure close to 35,000 people. Local Americans also participated in the parade and the subsequent fair that provided a magnificent platform for the India-Americans to display their talents in the domains of art, dance, music, and culture.

This year, the colourful parade with over 70 entries including 35 intricately and beautifully decorated floats, sponsored by various community organizations, businesses, and armed forces. Over 100 booths presenting their products, a health fair, an international food court with menus from various vendors, a children’s park, and ethnic Indian bazaar selling clothes, jewelry and furniture were good attractions.

Krishna Bansal, chairman and president of ICO, said that the celebrations and the parade were aimed at engaging Indian-Americans with the mainstream fabric of America. The program not only created huge awareness and respect for India while re-igniting at the same time the love and pride for India among first and second generation Indians here, Bansal observed

People lined the parade route waving flags of both the US and India. It showcased the culture, dances, and uniqueness from over 20 states of India and was aired live by many media outlets, including NCTV17 and TV Asia. Grand Marshalls Salim and Suleiman led the parade. The presence of the US Air Force, Army, and Marine Corps enhanced the experience even more. A fully dressed up crew of Air India was a special attraction.

Naper Paarade Dance
Dance performance by members of the Indian Communityat India Day parade

A talent show included vibrant performances by dance groups of Chicagoland. The spectacular display of flair by Indian youth in music and dance left everyone awestruck. The winner of the talent show, Soorya Dance School performed on the main stage in the evening. The Chicago Parai Team won the second place followed by UC Bhangra and SSR Dance School.

In the free health fair, senior citizens had their blood pressure, blood sugar, and bone density tested.

A children’s park led was also a centre of attraction with bouncy houses, face painting, and educational activities.

5Indian Consul General Sudhakar Dalela and his wife at the India Day parade
5Indian Consul General Sudhakar Dalela and his wife at the India Day parade

The event concluded with a magnificent concert and fireworks. An electrifying concert featuring the Bollywood singing sensations Salim and Suleiman, Sukhbir Singh, Rex Dsouza and Shilpi Paul rocked the stage.

Naperville Mayor Steve Chirico said that he was overwhelmed to see the response of Indian-Americans to the celebrations and parade. He added that Indians are respected across the globe for their right attitude and positive work ethics.

Indian Consul General in Chicago Sudhakar Dalela, who was the guest of honor, congratulated ICO and wished everyone the Happy Independence Day of India. Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthy, Rep. Grant Wehrli and many other elected officials and prominent leaders of Chicago and Naperville also graced the occasion.

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