Khaas Baat : A Publication for Indian Americans in Florida
Feature Story

Shubh Deepawali

By NITISH S. RELE, [email protected]

Here are some of the Diwali events being held throughout the Sunshine State.

The Gujarati Samaj of Tampa Bay will hold its Diwali Dinner Saturday, Nov. 13, at India Cultural Center, 5511 Lynn Road. The dinner and entertainment that will follow is free for Samaj members. For information, call Samaj president Himmatbhai Parekh at (813) 969-1661 or visit

Also, The Sanatan Mandir in Tampa will hold Laxmi Puja at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 5. On Sunday, Nov. 7, Annakut will be held starting from 11 a.m. There also will be Diwali and New Year fireworks at the mandir, 311 E. Palm Ave. For information, call (813) 221-4482 or visit

And the Hindu Temple of Florida will hold a Diwali cultural program from 2 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 6, at its community hall, 5509 Lynn Road, Tampa. It will be followed by Mahaprasadam and fireworks. For more information, call (813) 962-6890 or visit

The BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Tampa will celebrate Chopda Pujan at 7 p.m. on Nov. 5. The next day, it will have an Annakut Aarti starting from noon and thereafter every hour till 7; Annakut darshan is from noon to 7 p.m. Kids Carnival also will be held from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. with Diwali fireworks at 8 p.m. The BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir is at 9556 E. Fowler Ave. in Thonotosassa or call (813) 986-5473.

The Jain Society of Tampa Bay will hold a small Diwali celebration on Nov. 12 from 6 p.m. at India Cultural Center, Lotus Hall, 5511 Lynn Road. For more information, e-mail [email protected] or visit

Ambaji Mandir at 10991 58th St., in Pinellas Park, will hold a Lakshmi Puja from 6 to 7 p.m. Nov. 3. Diwali Puja and celebration will be 6 to 7 p.m. on Nov. 5 and New Year celebration and Annakut will be 6 to 7 p.m. on Nov. 7. For more information, call the mandir at (727) 388-6685, (727) 537-9445 or visit

Maayboli Melawa Tampa Bay (MMTB) will celebrate Diwali Sunday, Nov. 21, at the Hindu Temple of Florida community hall, 5509 Lynn Road. MMTB is inviting entries for participation in the cultural program. For details, call Pallavi Pitale at (813) 210-3045, e-mail [email protected] or visit

The Charotar Patidar Samaj will present its second annual Diwali Dinner and Dance from 3 p.m. Nov. 14 at The Trinkle Center, Hillsborough Community College, Plant City Campus, 1206 N. Park Blvd., Plant City. Tickets are $25 per person. For information, call Jayesh Patel at (407) 460-2020, Kamal Patel at (863) 670-1045 or e-mail [email protected]

Annakut/Diwali celebrations will be held by the Hindu Society of Central Florida (1994 Lake Drive) in Casselberry on Saturday, Nov. 6. The cultural program will be from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. followed by puja and aarti at 7:30 p.m. and then fireworks at 8. Mahaprasad will be served. For information, call Dr. Rajesh Patel at (407) 687-5506, Mahendra Kapadia at (407) 595-9224, e-mail [email protected], or visit

The Orlando Marathi Mandal will hold Deepawali 2010 from 4 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 14, at the Hindu Society of Central Florida community hall (1994 Lake Drive) in Casselberry. There will be competitions and entertainment. To participate in the cultural program, call (407) 297-6824.

The BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Orlando will celebrate Diwali-Annakut on Nov. 6. The BAPS temple is at 1325 W. Oakridge Road, Orlando or call (407) 857-0091.

Also, the Hindu Society of Central Florida New Age Group will hold Diwali celebrations at 1:30 p.m. Nov. 7. On the agenda is a presentation of educative DVD, games such as bingo, etc. There is a $3 cover charge per person or $5 for couple. For information, e-mail [email protected]

Shree Swaminarayan Mandir, 2793 New Tampa Highway, Lakeland, will hold a New Year Annakut celebration on Sunday, Nov. 7. Mangala Aarti will be at 5:30 p.m. followed by Shangar Aarti and Samuh Mahapooja. Annakut Darshan and Aarti will be at noon followed by mahaprasad. Tulsi Vivah and Dev Diwali will be 5 to 8 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 21. For information, call (863) 687-4776 or (863) 529-1146 or e-mail [email protected]

The Alachua Hare Krishna Temple, 17306 N.W. 112th Blvd., will celebrate Diwali on Nov. 5 and Govardhan Puja on Nov. 7. For more details, call the temple at (386) 462-2014 or Saksi Gopal dasa at (352) 222-1440.

The India Cultural and Education Center (ICEC) will hold Celebration of Festivals (Eid, Diwali and Christmas) from 6:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. Nov. 20. There will be a cultural program of songs and dances, followed by Indian Chinese dinner and then dancing with a DJ. Also, fireworks for children are planned too. Tickets for ICEC members are $13 adults and $7 for children ages 5 to 12 years of age and $20 for adult non-members and $7 for children ages 5 to 12 years of age. For tickets or more information, call Mathura Alladi at (352) 372-4545 or Shiwani Arora at (352) 332-9366 or visit ICEC is at 1115 S.W. 13th St., Gainesville.

The Hindu Temple of Southwest Florida, 12552 Plantation Road, Fort Myers, will hold a Lakshmi Pooja on Friday, Nov. 5, and Diwali celebrations at 6 p.m. on Nov. 6. For details, call (239) 561-5866, (239) 574-2501, (239) 404-6638 or visit

The Indian Association of the Space Coast will hold Diwali and annual dinner from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 13, at Melbourne Auditorium, 625 Hibiscus Blvd. For more information, visit

The Indian Cultural Society of Daytona will celebrate Diwali on Saturday, Nov. 20. For more information, call (386) 527-0855, e-mail [email protected] or visit


The Indian Cultural Society of Jacksonville will hold its Diwali Gala Saturday, Nov. 13, at the University of North Florida Arena, 11852 University of North Florida Drive. Seating and social hour begin at 3 p.m. with the show at 4. There will be food, dance and music. For details, e-mail [email protected] or visit

The Hindu Society of North East Florida in Jacksonville will celebrate Diwali with a Mahavir Nirvan on Friday, Nov. 5, and Annakut Govardhan Pooja on Nov. 6. The temple is at 4968 Greenland Road, Jacksonville. For information, call (904)-269-1155 or visit

The BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Jacksonville will celebrate Diwali-Annakut on Nov. 6. The BAPS temple is at 7500 Merrill Road, Jacksonville. For details, call (904) 744-5352.


COOPER CITY: The Indian Religious & Cultural Center (IRCC) will hold its Diwali Show & Celebration-2010 on Sunday, Nov. 14, at Cooper City High School, 9401 Stirling Road, Cooper City. On the agenda from 3 to 9 p.m. is a cultural program, family photo session and dinner. Tickets are $22 for member adults and children ages 10 and over; non-member adults and children ages 10 and over are $30. To purchase tickets (by Nov. 10 since no ticket will be sold at the gate), call Sanjay Gupta at (954) 461-4003, Durgesh Thaker at (954) 755-2667, e-mail [email protected] or visit or

BOYNTON BEACH: The BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Boynton Beach will celebrate Diwali on Nov. 6 with Annakut Darshan. The BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir is at 541 S.E. 18th Ave., Boynton Beach. For information, call (561) 740-2898 or visit

MIAMI: The India-US Chamber of Commerce, South Florida will hold its annual Diwali Gala at 6:30 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 7 at The InterContinental Hotel, 100 Chopin Plaza, Miami. Awards of Excellence will be presented. Cost is $85 for chamber members and $95 for non-members. For more information, call (305) 931-8257, e-mail [email protected] or visit

Also, the Chinmaya Mission will celebrate Diwali on Nov. 7 during regular Sunday classes. For details, visit

DAVIE: The Bengali Association of South Florida will hold a Diwali Party 2010 on Nov. 6 at The Palace Fine Indian Cuisine, 11422 W. State Road 84, Davie. For information, visit

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About 1,500 people, including store owners, physicians, pharmacists and hotel owners are expected at the sixth annual convention of the Asian American Convenience Store Owners Association (AACSA) Saturday, Nov. 20, at India Cultural Center (5511 Lynn Road) in Tampa.

AACSA is the apex body of the Asian American convenience store owners in the United States, according to AACSA Founding President Satya Shaw. Convenience store owners and operators from all across the United States will be attending the mega event to discuss the issues related to their business and welfare.

The 11 a.m. daytime program features booths, exhibits, vendors, educational sessions, networking, plus lunch. Actress Gracy Singh will inaugurate the expo at noon. In the evening, actor Gracy Singh, singer Kailash Kher and Bollywood show “Black” will perform live in concert. The convention is free for store owners and invited guests. Register online at Others can buy $50 tickets online, which includes lunch, dinner, Bollywood entertainment, etc.

For more information, call (813) 960-7429 or e-mail [email protected] or call Vijay Gandhi at (863) 287-797, Also, visit

CALL 813-758-1786.
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