LOWELL, MA— Approximately 4,000 people attended the first-ever cultural festival held at the Heritage Park on Pawtucket Boulevard in Lowell, MA. The open-door festival was organized by Gujarati Association of New England, known as Gurjar. Some said that this festival and venue has potential to become an annual celebration like India Day at Boston’s Hatch Memorial Shell along the Charles River.
Gurjar officials said the event was a tremendous success as approximately 4,000 people attended the festivities and enjoyed the delicacies from various food vendors. The festival kicked off at noon, with the arrival of Chief William Taylor, superintendent of Police, followed by Mayor Edward J. Kennedy, of Lowell.
“I hope you make this an annual event, and next year if you need any help please call my office and we will facilitate getting all the necessary permits. We want to make this happen for you, every year,” Lowell Mayor Kennedy said addressing the crowd with great enthusiasm.
The event, which was held on Saturday, Sept 9th 2017, also marked the kick off of Gurjar’s 40th anniversary. On Oct. 27, Gurjar will also receive the prestigious New England Choice Award a non-profit community organization.
“We are so happy, that you have picked Lowell to celebrate this event, making Lowell so vibrant and colorful, we love the diversity and the culture that this event brings to our city,” said Mayor Kennedy.
Police Chief Taylor walked around and tasted some spicy food and loved every dish that he tried, stated, “I am here for you guys, call us anytime for help needed, this is a great festival, hope you all make this an annual event, we love having you all here. We love to see such rich vibrant cultural events happening in our city”
City council members and ex-Mayor Rita Mercier showed up and had some very encouraging words to say, the gist of all their speeches was that they all wanted us to embrace City of Lowell for its diversity and make this festival an annual event in Lowell.
The tents lined up with colorful clothing, accessories and glittering jewelry was a real eye candy, women, could not get enough of it, which of course made the vendors very happy.
The variety of performances from the kids singing garba, (Indian folk-dance) to salsa and traditional dances was loved by all. The Bolly-X session had everyone swinging with the artists on stage and off.
Soulful singing of Ashutosh and music by Midnight ProductionZ added color to the mix. Activities of Henna tattoo and Photo booth having traditional Indian props were a big hit. People loved taking pictures with the old fashion auto rickshaw. The young girls ran around showing off their Henna tattoos.
The garba at the end of the day was the real highlight of the event when DJ invited all the attendees to participate, by joining the dance circle.
Many charitable organizations like ICC, Shishu Bharati and Ekal Vidalaya were hosted at the event and they too, were pleasantly surprised by the outpouring support.
“It was heartwarming to see that young volunteers worked tirelessly for the charities to raise funds for Dana Farber and We Care Charity,” Gurjar President Ramila Thakkar said in a statement. “People went home with goodies from the raffle and one young lady is of course flying anywhere in the world, courtesy of Turkish Airline (ticket donated for the raffle).”
Thakkar said the event wrapped with thanking all the sponsors, patrons, Gurjar members and all visitors present.
“At the end of the day when the Gujarati community and a large number of native and ethnic folks, so heartily supported the event, the hard work poured in by the organizing team seems very worthwhile,” said Thakkar.