Hicksville, NY: Even as the better known India Day celebrations in America have been forced by Covid-19 to downsize this year to just tricolor unfurling, IDP USA is set to keep India’s flag flying high with a Car Parade on August 15 in Hicksville, the newest Little India. This is the 8th year that IDP USA is organizing the India Day Parade.
This was announced on August 4 at a Zoom press conference addressed by IDP USA President, Mukesh Modi, attended by his team as well as parade founders, Bobby Kalotee and Kamlesh Mehta.
Deputy Consul General of India in New York, Shatrughna Sinha, has consented to be the Guest of Honor at the parade. Grand Marshall is Dr Raj Bhayani.
Over 150 cars are expected to form the cavalcade starting from Patel Brothers on South Broadway at 4 p.m., where dignitaries such as Town of Oyster Bay Supervisor Joe Saladino and State Senator Kevin Thomas will speak after flag hoisting.
The cars displaying Indian flags, led by the IDSP USA float, will drive down from to Apna Bazar, make a U-Turn, pass in front of Asa Mai Hindu temple, and culminate in Badshah Farmers Market, where a short program will comprise patriotic songs, greetings from dignitaries, etc. At Patel and Badshah, cold drinks and small snack packs will be distributed free.
Mukesh Modi said that all protocols and guidance of health authorities will be strictly followed: “All participants will stay socially distanced and wear masks. Car occupants will not come out of their vehicles. Only a limited number of people will be allowed at the stage programs.” All along the parade route, establishments will distribute flyers on safeguards to prevent Covid. Those watching and cheering the parade from the sidewalks are also required to wear masks and maintain social distance.
Bobby Kalotee in his remarks said we should never forget the leaders and martyrs who fought for India’s independence. “Corona has confined us to our homes, making us realize how important freedom is,” he said.
Kamlesh Mehta commended the hard work put in by Modi’s team, and was confident that the Car Parade will be very successful and will count as the biggest celebration of India’s Independence in the tristate area, if not America.
Immediate Past President of IDP USA Jay Jasbir Singh expressed satisfaction with the preparations.
The entire proceedings of the Car Parade can be seen live on YouTube, and the Facebook page of Radio Zindagi (540 AM), which will also broadcast it live. The link for YouTube webcast will be given a day before the parade on www.idpusa.org.
Those wishing to register their cars (some slots are still open) can go to www.idpusa.org. Participation is free.