Over 10,000 people, mostly Indian Americans, attended ‘Swades,’ India’s Independence Day celebration held Aug. 4 at the at the Santa Clara County Fairgrounds in San Jose, Calif.
The outdoor event, which began at 11 a.m. and continued through 11 p.m., was presented by the Association of Indo Americans and Bolly 92.3 and was supported by over 35 Indian organizations in San Francisco Bay Area.
This year, a musical concert, headlined by “Indian Idol” winner Revanth, was the special attraction.
Among the other attractions were a variety of dance performances, sports competitions, and over 60 vendors displaying a wide variety of products and services like clothing, jewelry, dental, mehendi, real estate, after school, and banking, among others.
Children were entertained by live characters dressed as Chhota Bheem and games such as water balls and train rides.
Additionally, the colorfully decorated venue resembled a festive environment in India.
The key motto of the annual fest is to showcase and propagate Indian culture and art forms. And thus, a host of dance forms, from Kuchipudi, Bharatanatyam and Kathak to Bhangra, Bollywood and classical dances (by kids and adults), were presented at the event. Audiences also thoroughly enjoyed a performance by the BATA karaoke team and a fashion show that was sponsored by Urban Panache.
About 100 local groups represented the diverse music and dance forms of India through performances during the day, which were followed by an Independence Day parade culminating in a flag-hoisting ceremony graced by notable dignitaries. The dignitaries included Consul General of India in San Francisco Sanjay Panda, San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo, Tara from the office of Santa Clara Supervisor Dave Cortese, Anurag Pal from the office of Assembly member Kansen Chu, Fremont Vice Mayor Raj Salwan, and community leader Jayaram Komati, among others.
After the function, the dignitaries conveyed their wishes on the occasion and applauded AIA’s efforts in preserving Indian culture, noted a press release.
Revanth took the stage next, enthralling the attendees for over two hours with his non-stop musical performance. He was joined by talented local singers. Many attendees were seen enthusiastically dancing and singing along with him throughout his show.
Following the concert, DJ-led music mesmerized the audience with a lot of energetic songs and dances and pretty much the entire crowd was on the dance floor.
The finale saw a fireworks show and the crowd thoroughly enjoyed it.
Food vendors brought various delicacies with unique presentations to the event. From chaat, biryani and dosa to jalebee, pakoda, dhokla, pav bhaji, ice-creams and chana bhatura, attendees enjoyed different dishes under one roof.
The grand sponsor of the event was Sanjiv Gupta (CPA). Travelopod was the travel partner, while gold sponsors were Wells Fargo, Realtor Manu Changotra and IGEN Learning. Silver sponsors included Azad Financial Services and Sangita Dutta (NY Life). Other sponsors included Insurance for Visitors and ICICI Bank. The event was promoted by “The Fair.”
The Association of Indo Americans is a non-profit organization providing a forum to explore the rich and diverse heritage of the Indian American community living in the United States, said the press release. The mission of AIA is to foster and promote cultural and social interactions among its members, facilitate cultural events and educational programs pertaining to the Indian subcontinent, celebrate the diverse cultural heritage of the Indian subcontinent and share this rich culture with the community.
Media partners for the event included India-West, TV Asia, Virijallu Telugu Radio and Chardkla Time TV.