August 15, 2018: Fourth India Day Parade & Celebration on the occasion of India’s 72nd Independence Day organized by Indian Community Outreach (ICO) in Naperville on Aug 12th, turned out to be memorable event for a staggering over thirty
thousand Indian-Americans from all over the USA to showcase their patriotism for their motherland along with several thousand local residents. The rocking concert featuring the Bollywood singing sensation, Sukhwinder Singh, was the icing on the cake.
Governor Bruce Rauner, Lt. Governor Evelyn Sanguinetti, Consul General of India, Neeta Bhushan, and Mayor Steve Chirico were the Guests of Honor at the event. Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthy, Congressman Peter Roskam, Congressman Bill Foster, State, and Local Elected representatives, and prominent leaders of Chicago and Naperville also graced the occasion.
A Feature-Rich Event- The event proved to be a magnificent platform for the India-Americans to display their talents in the domains of art, dance, music, and culture. Over 100 booths presenting their products, health fair, an International food court, children’s park, and ethnic Indian bazaar attracted the attention of the spectators. A colorful parade with over 70 entries including 35 intricately decorated floats, sponsored by various community organizations, businesses, and restaurants captured the imagination of one and all.
The talent show included unique and energetic performances by the best and most brilliant dance groups of Chicagoland. The spectacular display of flair by Indian youth in music and dance left everyone awe-struck. The winner of the talent show, UC Bhangra, led the parade and performed at the main stage in the evening.
The free Health Fair featuring specialists from different areas, screenings, and blood drive was the biggest draw for the community members. The Autism awareness booth with specialists providing guidance was very much applauded. Kid’s area with free activities including bounce houses, petting zoo, educational activities, face painting, slime stations and much more were highly enjoyed by the children. Presence of US Military and their vehicle was much of the attraction.
Thousands of enthusiastic Indian-Americans and members of Naperville community lined the Grand Parade route waving flags of both the United States and India. The Parade showcased culture, dances, and uniqueness from over 20 states of India and was aired live by many media outlets, including NCTV17 and TV Asia. The event concluded with magnificent fireworks.
Bollywood Singing Star Sukhwinder Singh Set the Stage on Fire- The highly acclaimed Indian rock star singer, Sukhwinder Singh, set the stage on fire by rendering patriotic songs and a number of Bollywood hits. He kick-started the scintillating evening with the most unforgettable melodies. The audience was mesmerized by the dazzling display of musical talent, nonstop singing for over 2 hours, and a fusion of the rare talent of Sukhwinder and the musical capabilities of his team. This proved to be a grand treat for the music enthusiasts and made the Celebrations and India Day Parade. Sukhwinder garnered huge admiration from the audience for his gifted versatility as a natural performer. It was a pleasant surprise for everyone present to see Governor Rauner dancing to the electrifying singing of Sukhwinder Singh.
Appreciations Galore- The Guest of Honor, Governor Bruce Rauner said that the Indian-American community is an integral part of the USA, which has been enriching the music, food, and dance of the US Midwest in a big way. He applauded Indian Americans for their worth-emulating contributions in a number of fields, especially Health Sector, Technology, Hotel Industry, Teaching & Research, etc.
Naperville Mayor Steve Chirico said that he was pleasantly overwhelmed to see the response of Indian-Americans to the celebrations and parade. He added that Indians are respected across the globe for their right attitudes and positive work ethics.
Consul General Neeta Bhushan urged the Indian-Americans to keep contributing to the multifaceted development of India as well as the USA. She advised them to involve themselves in the community work and become a role model for others. “In such diverse fields as technology, education, science, entrepreneurship, etc., Indian-Americans have been empowering both India and the USA to grow much stronger and dynamic”, she added.
Krishna Bansal, Chairman of the ICO, said that the Celebrations and the Parade were aimed at engaging Indian-Americans into the mainstream fabric of Naperville. He stated, with a sense of pride that Naperville has emerged as one of the best places in the US Midwest to work and live. He added that many Indian-Americans, who own businesses, are not only looking to come to Naperville but also showing enthusiasm to get involved with the city as volunteers. Bansal specially recognized the dignitaries, partners, sponsors, media, and volunteers and everyone who contributed to the stupendous success of the event.
Chirag Jani, ICO Board Member and Co-chair of India Day, said that the Parade has surpassed expectations in both magnitude and participation. “We are constantly working to raise the bar to prove to the world that the Indian-Americans are the best, both as human beings and professionals”, he added.
Viral Shah, ICO Treasurer, stated that the event was free for the public. This was made possible with the help of our sponsors, including Patel Brothers/SWAD as Grand Sponsor and Consortium of Technology Companies as Event Sponsor.
Dinkar Karumuri, ICO Board Member, thanked technology companies of Chicagoland for stepping up in supporting the event while providing local jobs to area residents.
Governor Bruce Rauner presented the “Outstanding Service in Leadership Award” to Krishna Bansal for his distinguished service to the Indian American community in Illinois. Governor Bruce Rauner, Consul General Neeta Bhushan, and Naperville Mayor Steve Chirico also paid rich tributes to Bansal’s leadership.
Trustee Nimish Jani congratulated Krishna Bansal, ICO Board Members, ICO Advisory Council and a strong army of Volunteers who contributed immensely to the success of the fourth India Day Parade & Celebration. The successful culmination of the event was also a tribute to members of the ICO who toiled for days and months, with many spending sleepless nights to ensure that every minute detail from the space between floats to the emergency and evacuation plans to make the pioneering event in Naperville memorable and safe.
Krishna Bansal thanked sponsors, media, partners, dignitaries, volunteers and everyone who attended the event. He announced to be back next year on 11th Aug 2019 India Day and urged everyone to join the outreach efforts and encouraged to visit www.indiancommunityoutreach.org by call 630.300.0345 for more details.