Here are some of the communities in Florida celebrating India’s Independence Day:
The Federation of Indian Associations of Tampa Bay (FIA of Tampa Bay) will celebrate India Independence Day on Sunday, Aug. 11, at the India Cultural Center, 5511 Lynn Road. The day begins at 11:30 a.m. with a general knowledge competition followed by panel discussion on college admission from 12:30 p.m. to 2. Medicine, Dentistry, Law, Business, Engineering students, faculty and admission office professionals have been invited. Flag-hoisting will be between 2:30 and 3. Invited guests are Hillsborough County Commissioner Al Higginbotham, Country Administrator Michael Merrill and Councilwoman Lisa Montelione. Then a cultural program, including dances and musicals, will be held. For information, contact FIA President Manish Kharod at (813) 245-9219, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.fia-tampabay.com
Hindu Society of Central Florida Youth Group and New Age Group will celebrate India’s Independence Day on Sunday, Aug. 11, from 1 to 3 p.m. in the mandir community hall, 1994 Lake Drive, Casselberry. There will be a parade, live entertainment and snacks. Everyone is invited. This will be preceded by a special Saraswati Puja at 11:15 a.m. seeking blessings for the new school year. For more information, call Dev Sharma at (407) 862-9920, Madan Arora at (407) 971-9259 or e-mail email@example.com
CORAL SPRINGS (SOUTH FLORIDA)
The Association of Indians in America (AIA) South Florida chapter along with other local Indian organizations will hold India Independence Day celebrations from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 18, at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts, 201 S.W. Fifth Ave., Fort Lauderdale. Admission is free. On the agenda are a parade, cultural entertainment of music and dance, Indian food and fashion. For details, call Maya Kirpalani at (561) 866-3438, Ramola at (954) 629-5708 or visit www.aiaflorida.org
WEST PALM BEACH
The Palm Beach India Association (PBIA) will hold an Independence Day Picnic on Sunday, Aug. 11, from 1 p.m. at Okeeheelee Park - Tuskeegee Pavilion, West Palm Beach. There will be games and activities for kids and adults. PBIA members pay $10 per person; non-members $20. For information, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.gopbia.com
BARTOW/LAKELAND (POLK COUNTY)
The Bhartiya Samaj of Central Florida will hold Talent Show/Independence Day on Sunday, Aug. 11, at Bartow Civic Center, 2250 S. Floral Ave., Bartow. For details, call Subhash S. Patel at (863) 648-0294, Vinoobhai Patel at (863) 293-0942 or visit www.bscfl.com
The Indian Cultural Society of Jacksonville will celebrate India’s Independence Day on Saturday, Aug. 17, at University of North Florida’s Robinson Theatre, 4567 St. Johns Bluff Road, S. The parade on Baymeadows Road will be from 3 to 4 p.m. Then, a cultural program from 5 to 8 p.m. at the theatre will be followed by dinner. The event is open to all and free to the public. For information, call ICS President Priya Ganesan at (215) 264-0073, e-mail email@example.com, or visit www.jaxics.com
The Fort Myers India Association will hold an Independence Day Picnic on Saturday, Aug. 17. For details, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or visit http://www.iafortmyers.org/
SPACE COAST (MELBOURNE)
The Indian Association of the Space Coast will hold India Day celebrations from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 10, at Melbourne Auditorium, 625 E. Hibiscus Blvd., in Melbourne. Admission is free. For information, call (321) 302-1870, e-mail email@example.com or visit www.iascbrevard.com
DAYTONA BEACH/ORMOND BEACH
The Indian Cultural Society (ICS) of Daytona will hold its Independence Day celebrations from noon to 3 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 18, at Ormond Beach Senior Center, 351 Andrews St., Ormond Beach. The event is free for members and $10 for non-members. For information, call ICS President Rita Patel at (386) 795-0008, Shailesh Patel at (386) 846-4760, e-mail ICSDaytona@gmail.com or visit www.icsdaytona.com
India's Independence Day will be celebrated from noon to 3 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 18, at Indian Cultural & Education Center (ICEC) in its Main Hall. ICEC is at 1115 S.W. 13th St., Gainesville. Admission is free. For details, call Dr. Bhavani Sankar at (352) 374-4382, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.icec-florida.org
The India Association of Tallahassee (IATLH) will hold India Day/Utsav 2013 on Saturday, Aug. 17, starting at 2 p.m. at Godby High School Auditorium, 1717 W. Tharpe St. The event is to celebrate India's Independence Day as well as to showcase the cultural talents of community members. In addition to songs and music, the event will also feature a Quiz contest and a speech contest for middle and high school students. The event is free and open to the public. For more information, e-mail President.email@example.com or visit www.iatlh.org
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TAMPA TO HOST IIFA AWARDS IN 2014
Let’s hear it for Tampa Bay! In case you hadn’t heard the exciting news in Florida this summer, the International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) has selected Tampa as the location for the 2014 awards, coming to the United States for the first time.
Put together by Wizcraft International Entertainment, the IIFA Awards started in 2000 and now spans a three-day weekend with more than 15 events, including film workshops, global business forum, fashion and music night, special celebrity event and the awards presentation ceremony. The IIFA Weekend & Awards will be held between the second week of June and July 6 but exact dates are not yet final. Proposed venues for IIFA events are Tampa Bay Times Forum, Florida State Fairgrounds and Raymond James Stadium.
“We are all hard at work planning so we that we can deliver a world-class event,” said Santiago Corrada, Visit Tampa Bay CEO and president.
The IIFA Awards have previously been held in London, South Africa, Singapore, Dubai and Toronto. To make their final pitch, a privately funded Tampa delegation attended the 2013 event in Macau. It included Hillsborough County Commissioner Al Higginbotham, Corrada, Visit Florida Vice President of Global Brand Susannah Costello, local organizer and Tampa Bay businessman Chetan R. Shah, among other officials and Indian American community members.
Busy with the planning, organizer Shah says, “I very humbly request the whole-hearted support of the entire Florida Indian community in all the activities leading up to IIFA weekend. It’s a rare, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”
More than 30,000 visitors are expected to attend the 15th annual awards and weekend. Television viewership of IIFA is nearly 800 million and hundreds of media representatives from around the world will be present. Corrada expects the security needs to be more than or greater than the Super Bowl.
Philanthropist and well-known businessman Dr. Kiran C. Patel is supporting the efforts to make the event a success. He is cautiously optimistic. “We are excited that Tampa has been picked for the IIFA awards,” he said. “But now we must focus on execution. We have around 10 months before the awards and that is a double challenge. We have to raise significant level of capital in a compressed period of time. So, our predominant challenge is sponsorship. We are talking of a $45 million budget.” While no city or state funds have been committed, last month Gov. Rick Scott met with key IIFA planners and expressed strong support for their efforts.
Leading up to the awards weekend, there will be several events called IIFA Buzz starting in late September this year. The purpose is to create awareness and bring the community together. These events include fashion shows, casino night, day cruise, multicultural concerts and cricket tournaments. Some activities will be fundraisers and others free. Special events will take place at Busch Gardens, Disney World, Universal Studios and the Florida Aquarium. Also, promotional activities are being planned with each of the Tampa Bay sports teams. The organizers expect to participate in the Gasparilla Festival, Plant City Strawberry Festival and the Florida State Fair.
The official Web site for the Tampa IIFA 2014 (www.gobollywoodtampabay.com) is still under construction but will be a source for event information and details.
Look for Khaas Baat to keep you informed of all the IIFA-related updates as they are announced. Join us on Facebook (www.facebook.com/khaasbaatflorida) for late-breaking announcements.
2013 MANASOTA INDIA FESTIVAL AUG. 10
The first-ever India Festival in the Manasota/Sarasota area will be held Saturday, Aug. 10. Organized by the Gujarati Association of Manasota and the Indian American Association of Manatee and Sarasota, more than 2,000 people are expected to attend the event at Bradenton Area convention Center, 1 Haben Blvd., Palmetto. According to festival secretary Biren Pathak, “The reason for holding the festival is to bring awareness of the thriving Indian community to the locals.” There are estimated to be over 300 Indian families in the area.
On the agenda are cultural activities, vendor booths offering food, clothes, jewelry, etc. The event begins at noon with an afternoon session of exhibits and then the cultural program from 4 p.m. onward. Tickets are $2 per person (children younger than 5 years of age are free) and available at the venue or can be picked up at India Bazaar in Bradenton (941) 756-5373.
For information, call Festival Chairman Dr. Snehal Parikh at (941) 518-6298, Biren Pathak at (941) 448-6334 or visit www.gujaratiassociationofmanasota.com
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