Edison, NJ - On Sunday, Edison’s Pakistani community celebrated Pakistan’s Independence Day with the Fifth Annual Pakistani Day Parade. The parade ran along Oak Tree Road, starting in Iselin and ending behind the Burger King on Oak Tree Road and Wood Ave.
A traditional Pakistani breakfast of halwa/puri was offered to attendees at the start of the parade route.
Elected officials from across New Jersey, including New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy and Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin, attended the event.
“Great time celebrating today at the 5th Annual Pakistan Day Parade! Our Pakistani American community enriches our state and we are deeply grateful for all they contribute to New Jersey,” said Mr. Murphy in a statement after the event.
The parade featured over a dozen floats, ethnic bands, and cultural music. A crowd of nearly 25,000 participants watched the parade and attended a concert at the end of the parade route, according to organizers. They were treated to musical performances by singers Shazia Manzoor and Nirmal Roy. Vendors offered food, jewelry, and clothing in stalls lining the concert area.
“It was just a great day – it was a nice parade, the weather was perfect, a lot of people turned out, and I think it’s important to be here not only because of how much of a contribution Pakistani Americans have made, but also because I’m not happy with a lot of the islamophobia that we see in Washington, particularly with the President,” said Congressman Frank Pallone.
“Celebrating our community and heritage is very important. Pakistani Americans are an important part of New Jersey’s cultural and economic fabric. We were happy to be able to share our traditions and history with the larger community,” said Dr.Mohammad Zubair, President of the Parade committee.