By Staff Writer Sahas Goli
On Sunday, August 21 from 11 a.m.-1 p.m., the streets around the Fremont city center were filled with festivity in celebration of India’s 75th Independence Day. Hosted by the Festival of Globe (FOG), the India Day Parade featured various floats made by the local Indian community as well as many other attractions.
The parade began with a procession of dignitaries, including the Consulate General of India at San Francisco Dr. Nagendra Prasad as well as the mayors and council members from Fremont, Foster City, Saratoga, and Cupertino. As the mayor of the host city of Fremont, Lily Mei took one of the leading cars. “As a city, we support the idea of embracing the cultures and traditions of so many of our residents,” Mei said.
As a parade of floats trailed along the procession, the audience welcomed them with enthusiastic cheers, showing the unity behind the Indian community of Fremont. The majority of the parade was composed of floats representing the Indian states, including their iconic state landmarks and traditional Indian festive symbols, such as garlands of flowers and images of traditional deities. For instance, the Uttar Pradesh float featured the famous Taj Mahal, one of the most well-known places in India. Trailing alongside the state floats were floats that belonged to specific organizations, such as SiliconAndhra, a Bay Area Telugu organization, and Seva Internal Bay Area, a local chapter of an international volunteer organization.
Apart from the floats, attendees at the parade also took to the street on foot. While dance groups and traditional performers walked alongside the floats, performing music dances for onlookers, charity groups and other advocacy organizations carried signs to raise awareness for their causes. Among these included a group from Mission San Jose carrying an MSJ banner and the American High School marching band. “We came out to support our community… a big part of music is playing for people and people enjoying music,” Aroha, an American student in the band, said.
The parade was part of the larger Festival of India event hosted by the Festival of Globe. In addition to the parade, the weekend also included an India Day Fair, a dance competition, and a Wellness & Health Fair. “We had a jam-packed event with thousands of people coming in. We have cultural performances at the stage, excellent booths, celebratory performances, and fashion shows,” FOG Cultural Chair Jyotni Sharma said. The event transitioned into an awards ceremony for the previous day’s competitions and events.
As the heat picked up in the afternoon, the parade began to reach its end, and the audiences slowly dispersed, bringing an end to the Festival of India celebrations. “It’s an amazing event happening today. FOG works through giving back to the community, so this is a platform for everyone to come and showcase their culture,” Sharma said. In the past, FOG has hosted multiple events celebrating Indian culture, including their Holi event on the MSJ campus, and they plan to hold many more in the future.