EDISON, NJ – An estimated crowd of more than 40,000 came out Sunday afternoon for the 13th annual India Day Parade, organizers said.
According to a press release from the Indian Business Association, who sponsored the event, Indian Americans from all over the state attended the parade to celebrate India’s 71st Independence Day.
The parade included Bollywood star Riteish Deshmukh as grand marshal, the release said.
“We had an amazing turnout, largest in the history of this event,” Dhiren Amin, president of the Association said in the release. “We literally have hundreds of volunteers who worked around the clock to organize this event. I am really proud of our team.”
Democratic gubernatorial candidate and former ambassador Phil Murphy and his GOP rival, Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno were in attendance as well as several elected other officials from both parties, including legislators, freeholders, and mayors, the release said.
Mayor Tom Lankey administered the oath of office to IBA Vice President Mahesh Bhagia, who has been appointed as special assistant to the mayor during the event.
“It was a historic moment” said Manher Shah, who is a trustee for the association, said in the release.
According to the release, the parade featured 19 floats, two marching bands, and many walking groups.
More than 100 organizations participated in the festivities, including floats from Air India and JFK Hospital.
Chandrakant Patel, chairman for the organization thanked its sponsors, the release said.
“Our sponsors are generous and supportive of the community,” he said. “They should be commended.”
A cultural program featuring local artists followed the parade, which ran through Oak Tree Road, from Edison to Woodbridge, the release said, and it is the only parade that runs through two towns.
The association is a non-profit organization that serves New Jersey’s Indian American community through cultural programs, education seminars, and public policy activity, the release said.