EDISON, NJ - With officials estimating a crowd of over 42,000, the 14th Annual New Jersey India Day parade, hosted by the Indian Business Association (IBA) was a grand success according to parade organizers.
The parade, which included 18 floats, a marching band, and multiple walking groups, ran down Oak Tree Road, beginning in Edison and ending in Iselin. This year’s Grand Marshall was veteran Bollywood actor Anupam Kher. The parade also featured television journalist Richa Anirudh as well as Bollywood actors Niharica Raizada and Prachi Tehlan.
“We were graced with beautiful weather, a wonderful Grand Marshall, and the support of over 100 community based organizations” said IBA President Dhiren Amin accounting for the success of this year’s parade. “I also want to thank all of our sponsors, especially ShopRite, the title sponsor of the event” added Mr. Amin.
A cultural program followed the parade at the review stand in Iselin. It included local and international talent, who entertained the crowd with music and dance. “This whole event was spectacular” commented Mr. Kher. “It is great to see India’s culture, history, and tradition is alive and well across the ocean. Kudos to the IBA” he added.
Elected officials and candidates from across New Jersey also showed their support for the IBA. The delegation included Congressman Frank Pallone, Middlesex County Freeholders, Senators Vin Gopal, Patrick Diegnan, and Sam Thompson. Elected officials from Hudson, Passaic, Essex, Bergen, Middlesex and Monmouth counties were also present. Also on hand was US Senate Candidate Bob Hugin.
Edison Mayor Thomas Lankey was effusive in his praise of the parade and the IBA. “The IBA’s great. [The organization] gets businesses involved, but they do more than that, they also get the community involved “ said Mr. Lankey. Edison Council President Ajay Patil concurred stating “every year the parade gets larger and draws more people to Edison. We are lucky to have the IBA organize such a wonderful event.” Edison Councilman Michael Lombardi added “The IBA does so much good for this town. All the IBA members that I know and have met are wonderful.”
In Iselin, Woodbridge Mayor John McCormac expressed his gratitude to the IBA. “This group organizes the best events” said Mr. McCormac, before starting a “Bharat Mata ki Jai” chant that exhilarated the crowd. A Senior Citizens group from Cooper Towers started an impromptu dance that was joined by Mr. Kher.
The organization also appreciated its large team of volunteers. “Over 300 volunteers worked tirelessly to put the event together” explained IBA Chairman Chandrakant Patel. “My co-trustees, Mahesh Shah and Manher Shah, and our legal advisor, Satish Poondi, were instrumental in organizing the parade. I don’t think they slept during this last week.”