Hundreds of Indian-Americans came together from Long Island and Queens in the state of New York on August 9th to celebrate India’s 69th Independence Day. The parade held in Hicksville, Long Island, turned the “little Indian town” in a blaze of orange, green and white, the colors of the Indian flag. They marched down South Broadway playing drums and shouting “Long Live India,” media reports stated.
The two-mile parade ended at the Asamai Hindu Temple on East Barclay Street led by Bollywood actress Neetu Chandra as grand marshal. Bollywood actress Neetu Chandra was grand marshal, and the parade boasted a number of celebrities and elected officials including Miss America 2014 Nina Davuluri, Oyster Bay Supervisor John Venditto, Hempstead Supervisor Kate Murray, North Hempstead Supervisor Judi Bosworth, Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano, Republican State Senator from Mineola Jack Martins, and representatives of various Indian-American community organizations, Newsday reported.
This year’s theme was “Women Empowerment & the Next Generation,” an issue addressed by Davuluri in her speech. Organizers Bobby Kumar Kalotee, Beena Kothari and Indu Jaiswal presided over the program. They said they chose Hicksville because it houses a Little India and local businesses supported the parade. This is the fifth parade to be held in Hicksville. Nassau County’s has witnessed a doubling of the population of Indians – from 20,000 in 2010 to 40,000 today, according to the Newsday report.