Some 8,000 to 10,000 people enjoyed the 23rd Dushahra Festival Oct. 9, 2021 at Lake Papaianni Park in Edison, according to a media report. People streamed in and out of the grounds from 1 pm to 8:30 pm where the festival culminated with the burning of Ravan’s effigy.
A festive atmosphere prevailed with at least 35 stalls selling Indian delicacies as well as clothing, jewelry, and a host of other products. Organized by Indo-American Festivals, the event was also supported by the Middlesex County Cultural and Arts Trust Fund.
Starting with the ceremonial lamp-lighting ceremony where local high-profile guests were in attendance, the festival included a cultural program where dance schools of the area as well as solo artists performed.
A two-hour segment on the story behind the Ram Leela was performed by some 70 artists. It was choreographed by well-known artist Varsha Naik.
The effigy of Ravan was 30 feet high and built by Krishna Gopal Singhal, a local artist from Long Island who spent three months creating the massive statue.
“Usually, we have more than 15,000 people, but this time due to the pandemic, only 8,000-10,000 people came and went at the festival,” Raj Mittal of Indo-American Festivals, told Desi Talk.
Numerous local VIPs and elected officials attended the event, including Chief Guest Gulshan Chhabra.