Indians in America celebrate Independence Day with gusto

The Indian community in America celebrated the country`s 67th Independence Day with gusto.

Washington: The Indian community in America celebrated the country`s 67th Independence Day with gusto joining flag unfurling functions at the Indian missions as they geared to hold colourful parades and cultural functions over the weekend.

Some 250 members of the community joined Thursday`s official celebration in Washington where Indian Ambassador Nirupama Rao unfurled the national flag at her residence and read out President Pranab Mukherjee`s message to the nation.

A cultural programme followed. Similar events were held at Indian Consulates in New York, San Francisco, Houston, Atlanta and the Permanent Mission of India to the UN.

Meanwhile, several community groups are gearing up to organise parades and festivals in various cities from New York to Chicago to Stamford, Connecticut.

India`s anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare will be lead the largest India Day Parade in America in Manhattan next Sunday.

Now in its 33rd year, the parade organised annually by the Federation of Indian Associations, will also feature Bollywood film star Vidya Balan as grand marshal and Sarath Kumar and Raddhila as other guests of honour.

Parades are also planned for Chicago and Hicksville, New York. Festivities include vibrant cultural programmes, henna artists, exhibition and booths for Indian clothes and jewellery, children`s rides and Indian food.

But a couple of other parades that have gained prominence over the last few years stole a march over New York`s big one by celebrating the day last Sunday and attracted thousands of watchers.

Colourful floats and entertainment programmes highlighting India`s culture and heritage, and, of course, cuisine marked the parades in Long Island, a New York suburb, and two more in New Jersey.