SHORT HILLS, NJ - The Cora Hartshorn Arboretum was awash in color on Sunday, March 12 as they hosted the Holi celebration hand in hand with the Indian American Association of Millburn-Short Hills. Guests indulged in traditional South Indian food, dances, and songs. 

Young dancers from Mudra Natyalaya, the Short Hills School of Bharatanatyam, performed the South Indian Classical dance Bharatanatyam, under the direction of teacher Charanya Mahadevan. To the delight of many in attendance, the reigning Miss NJ USA, Chhavi Verg, stopped by and visited with celebrants for several hours.  Miss Verg, a current sophomore at Rutgers University majoring in Marketing and Spanish, competes for the title of Miss USA in May.  She is only the second South Indian Miss NJ USA in the history of the pageant.  

The Arboretum's newly completed Stone House Nature Center housed the event in a museum-quality exhibit that features live animals, sculptural trees and canopies, interactive learning and discovery stations.

According to www.iloveindia.com, Holi is a celebration noted for its colors and recognizes the triumph of good over evil and socially as unity and brotherhood. Celebrants customarily pay visits to their friends and relatives to give them good wishes as well as to strengthen their bonds. The festival brings people together, as it is not just celebrated by Hindus but also by Sikhs, Christians, and Jains.