Association of Indo American’s (AIA) and Bolly 92.3 presented “Dussehra & Diwali Dhamaka”, an annual event to celebrate Dussehra and Diwali festivals. It is a unique outdoor festival, first of its kind and was supported by over 30 Indian organizations in Bay Area. With over 25,000 attendees, the event was refreshingly endearing, visually stunning, totally engaging, and entertaining. This event highlighted multiple facets of two of the largest, most widely celebrated festivals.
This mega event was presented by Sanjiv Gupta CPA (Sponsored Fireworks), Grand sponsor for the event was Dr. Prakash Advani Family Dentistry (Sponsored Ravan Dahan) , Platinum sponsors include InsuKare.com insurance (Sponsored Rath Yatra), Neeraa’ji from Sampurna Vastu (Maha Mangal Arti) .and event was powered by Remit2India.com. Other sponsors include NY Life (Sangeeta Dutta) Mantri Developers, AIG Insurance (Jack Daswani) & G&C Global.
Part of the event, there were daylong activities combined with dance competitions, Diya making, Rangoli, flash mob, DJ Junction, Ravan Dahan, and Fireworks. While Bollywood foot stomping numbers and nostalgic classical dancing of all forms was entertaining the audience on the main stage, a separate staging area featured of live bands & Karaoke songs by talented singers.
There was a huge support and compliments from many of the elected officials and dignitaries who have attended the event and they conveyed their Diwali greeting.
California State Assemblymember Ash Kalra (27th district), AP Government Special Representative for North America Jayaram Komati, Fiona Ma, (State Board of Equalization), Cupertino City Mayor Darcy Paul, Santa Clara County Supervisor Dave Cortese, Santa Clara County Sheriff Laurie Smith, Santa Clara County Undersheriff Rick Sung, Fremont City Councilmember Raj Salwan, Ex-Mayor and Councilmember City of Cupertino Savita Vaidhyanathan, Mayor of East Palo Alto Ruben Abrica, Christopher Moylan from office of Congressman Ro Khanna, Representatives from Assemblymember Evan Low’s office, Assemblymember Kansen Chu's office, Ex-Mayor of Milpitas Jose Esteves, Cupertino Education Board member Anjali Kausar, and many other dignitaries have attended the event, and conveyed their greetings to the guests at the event. The dignitaries have also presented their respective office proclamation in support of AIA.
The dignitaries were led to the area of the golden chariot where they initiated the ‘Rath Yatra’ with chariot containing goddess Lakshmi. With excited chants from many devotees, people were able to pull the chariot through the length of the expo hall in a parade format. As the Rath came to a halt in front of the powerful goddess whose mandir was carefully and beautifully decorated to recreate a temple, the priest started auspicious chants and continued to present Aarti. Aarti platters were distributed throughout the crowd & delicious laddu prasad were sponsored by Raja Sweets.
Desi Food Festival which brought various delicacies with unique presentation under one roof. Swagat Indian Cuisine, Chaat Bhavan, Peacock Indian Cuisine-Dublin, Cakes & Bakes, Arusuvai Indian Cuisine, Dawat, Bombay2Goa, Momo food truck and Satwant ice cream catered the food for the event. What’s a desi mela without shopping and this event provided ample opportunities for the same. Over 60 vendors displayed booths spanning clothing, jewelry, mehndi, real estate, after schools, IT training & health services.
The Expo center was bursting at the seams by 6:30 pm with excited patrons who were torn between watching the sensually binding fashion show, flash mob, Melodious songs presented by talented singers from AIA/BATA karaoke group & attending the spiritually jubilant Maha Mangal Aarthi, visiting the vendor booths with attractive unique merchandise, or enjoying the rides and entertainment outdoors. Exciting raffle prizes were given by Travelo-Pod (Air ticket to India) & Gold and Silver coins by Classic Jewelers and PNG Jewelers.
Assemblyman Ash Kalra conveyed his Diwali greetings to all the attendees and officially kicked off the count down for Ravan Dahan (the symbolic burning of a large figure of Lord Sri Rama’s enemy, the 10 headed Ravan) It was spectacular & grand. The grand finale “Fireworks” which illuminated the beautiful sky with vibrant colors and formations.
The AIA team was very pleased with the grand success of the event, and noted that they were truly touched by the biggest surprise of the day when more than 25,000 plus Indian community members in has joined this event.
Also the AIA team thanked all the sponsors for their continued support and all the volunteers for their efforts in making the event a grand success.