Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton proclaimed August 18, 2018, as “India Day.”
An estimated 25,000 people attended the annual IndiaFest, held at the State Capitol Grounds in St. Paul, MN, on August 18.
St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter, the chief guest at the event, hoisted the flags of India and the United States.
According to the India Association of Minnesota, the organizers of the event, this year “the festival was bigger and better than ever with a number of quality community performances.”
Ahead of the festival, Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton proclaimed August 18, 2018, “India Day.”
“IndiaFest fosters an appreciation for a diverse culture, and recognizes both the country and people of India, along with the vibrant Minnesota Indian American community of nearly 49,000 who contribute to the vitality of Minnesota,” the proclamation read.
The governor pointed out that “IndiaFest provides an opportunity for Minnesota Indian American to showcase their ethnic roots through costumes, music, dance and food.”
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Three Indian classical dance groups and local bands from the twin cities performed at the festival, according to an email from the Indian Association. “The festival also included delectable Indian cuisine from eight local restaurants, foot-tapping live Bollywood music, yoga and meditation, exhibits, cultural displays, and a large bazaar,” it said.
A notable feature of the festival was a parade around the Capitol Grounds highlighting India’s diversity and culture.
As part of the event, six scholarships were awarded to local students in academics, community service, entrepreneurial leadership and arts, the association said.
The India Association of Minnesota, founded in 1973 as India Club of Minnesota, has a membership of 40,000, who “represent a microcosm of the plethora of cultures, traditions, customs and languages of India,” its website says.