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Howard County Times

Fifth annual Festival of India comes to Howard County Fairgrounds this weekend

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Dancers, from left, Riddhima Goswami, Radhika Roy and Paloma Kuala perform a semi-classical Indian dance during the Festival of India at the Howard County Fairgrounds on Saturday, Sept. 4, 2021. The event was organized by the Indian Cultural Association of Howard County.

The Indian Cultural Association of Howard County will host the fifth annual Festival of India on Saturday and Sunday at the Howard County Fairgrounds in West Friendship.

The event will be held from noon to 8 p.m. both days and admission is free. For more information, visit festivalofbharat.org.

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Featuring art, dance, food, music and shopping, the Festival of India is a celebration of the richness of Indian culture and heritage. It attracts up to 25,000 patrons each year, according to organizers.

“Not only will you have Indians, but you will have a lot of non-Indians and that is the measure of success, the fact that we have not only the large attendance executed well, but it’s also the diversity that we draw and we get an opportunity to share what Indian culture is with the larger community,” said Sanjay Srivastava, Indian Cultural Association president.

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The ICA is a nonprofit organization founded by Srivastava and his wife, Niti. The group aims to promote cultural and social ties between the Indian American community and the community at large, advance greater cultural understanding and social equity, decrease food insecurity and reduce food waste.In addition to the festival, the organization holds community health fairs and free food distributions to serve families in need.

Niti Srivastava, the group’s executive director, said the organization began by hosting the festival to celebrate local Indian culture.

“This is a place where people can come and get Indian things without going to India,” she said. “For [two days] the Howard County Fairgrounds will be transformed into a little India and it will be a colorful display of Indian culture all-around.”

Later this fall, the organization will host a free community health fair at the Horowitz Center at Howard Community College, in Columbia. At this event, planned for 9 a.m.-3 p.m., Oct. 28, residents can receive a flu shot and free health consultations and screenings.

For more information about the health fair, visit indianculturalassociation.org.


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