This past weekend, the 18th Annual Festival of India was hosted in our city of Charlotte.
The event included Indian food, dances, music and wardrobe that was mostly free to the pedestrians.
The multiple colors filled the streets of the Levine Avenue of the Arts area as the music boomed throughout the interested viewers’ ears.
The family friendly weekend was sponsored by Bank of America and Food Lion that supported by providing free water bottles and crackers.
Plenty of tents were camped around selling delicious foods that could be smelled from miles away. Freshly prepared Ethnic cuisine was around for everyone to enjoy.
Vegetarian and chicken dishes were the favorites this year that were topped off with Indian smoothies made fresh.
The prices were fair and could certainly be afforded by any starving customer looking for something spicy and different.
At the corner of W. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and S. Tryon Street, a stage was placed for the audiences to watch free dancing that ranged from traditional Indian to more modern Indian-Jazz performances.
There were larger groups of 10, all in matching garbs that moved in unison to create wonderful spectacles and smaller duets, showing India’s musical theatre side.
It was as if they were actors instead of dancers, and even had the “lines” memorized.
A famous and well-known Indian performer, Shreya Goshal, lit up the Oven Auditorium as she sang some of her greatest hits.
Her tour started in Charlotte, Sept. 21 and will continue throughout the country ending in San Jose, C.A. on Oct. 7.
Although tickets were needed for Goshal’s concert, there was free music and dancing in the streets that anyone could participate in just by walking towards a group of dancers and joining in.
This aspect of the event might have been the most enjoyable for the curious and interested viewers.
Colorful Indian wardrobes were also being sold at the Festival of India and were very popular to the pedestrians being entranced by the ornate designs.
People were surrounded by the many tables with stacks of these designs prepared for the shoppers; even toddlers had some to choose from.
To add to the perfect outfit, they had tables set up filled with Indian jewelry that almost sang when dangled.
Next year, the Festival of India will be back to Charlotte, N.C. and will be prepared for another huge crowd just like the one this year.
It is a wonderful way to get ethnically educated and step outside of one’s own world to step into another for a weekend.
Attending this festival is highly recommended for a great time with family and friends.