An estimated 42,000 people attended the 14th annual India Day Parade hosted by the Indian Business Association (IBA) on Aug. 12 in Edison, New Jersey.
Veteran Bollywood actor Anupam Kher was the grand marshal for the parade. Kher was joined by TV Journalist Richa Anirudh as well as Bollywood actors Niharica Raizada and Prachi Tehlan, along with elected officials and candidates from across New Jersey including Congressman Frank Pallone, Middlesex County Freeholders, Senators Vin Gopal, Patrick Diegnan and Sam Thompson, and many more.
The parade, which made its way along Oak Tree Road, beginning in Edison and ending in Iselin, included 18 floats, a marching band, and a number of walking groups.
Elected officials and candidates from across New Jersey including Rep. Frank Pallone (D-N.J), State Senators Vin Gopal, Patrick Diegnan, and Sam Thompson participated as well as elected officials from Hudson, Passaic, Essex, Bergen, Middlesex and Monmouth counties and Middlesex County freeholders. A cultural program followed the parade at the review stand in Iselin.
“This whole event was spectacular,” Kher said. “It is great to see India’s culture, history, and tradition is alive and well across the ocean.”
Edison Mayor Thomas Lankey, Woodbridge Mayor John McCormac, Edison Council President Ajay Patil, Edison Councilman Michael Lombardi spoke at the event, as did the president of the IBA Dhiren Amin and the group’s chairman Chandrakant Patel.
Edison Mayor Thomas Lankey was effusive in his praise of the parade and IBA. “The IBA’s great. The organization gets businesses involved, but they do more than that, they also get the community involved” he said.
Edison Council President Ajay Patil said, “Every year the parade gets larger and draws more people to Edison. We are lucky to have the IBA organize such a wonderful event.”
“The IBA does so much good for this town. All the IBA members that I know and have met are wonderful,” Edison Councilman Michael Lombardi added. “This group organizes the best events. Bharat Mata Ki Jai,” said Woodbridge Mayor John McCormac.
“We were graced with beautiful weather, a wonderful Grand Marshall, and the support of over 100 community based organizations. I also want to thank all of our sponsors, especially ShopRite, the title sponsor of the event,” said Dhiren Amin, President of IBA. Over 300 volunteers worked tirelessly to put the event together.