The vibrant and historic Devon Avenue came alive on August 5th, 2023, as the Federation of Indian Associations (FIA-Chicago) orchestrated a remarkable India Independence Day parade. With a legacy tracing back to its establishment in 1980, the FIA-Chicago once again proved its prestige by organizing an awe-inspiring event that celebrated India’s 77th Independence Day anniversary.
Thousands of attendees from diverse corners of the Indian subcontinent flocked to the bustling streets to partake in this jubilant occasion. The parade, a proud commemoration of India’s freedom, resonated with waves of patriotism as participants and spectators alike immersed themselves in the festivities.
Gracing the event with their presence were notable figures, including Indian actress and model Kanishka Soni, Consul General Somnath Ghose, Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson, Mayor of Lincolnwood Jesal Patel, and Parade Chair Smita Shah. These distinguished personalities united to extend their heartfelt Independence Day wishes to the enthusiastic crowd. President Dr. Rashmi Patel warmly welcomed and expressed gratitude to these esteemed guests, emphasizing the significance of their participation.
The parade’s vibrant spectacle included a colorful array of floats adorned with India’s national colors – white, orange, and green. Joining the celebration were members of The International Society for Krishna Consciousness, widely known as the Hare Krishnas.
The parade route, stretching from Western to Washtenaw along Devon Street, drew enthusiastic shoppers out of stores to witness the captivating floats. Subala das, a temple council member, expressed their honor in participating and sharing the Holy Names of Krishna with Indian families and local Chicagoans. The streets were adorned with waving Indian flags, hands raised in greeting, and warm smiles exchanged between participants and onlookers.
The parade’s highlight was the presence of a Deity of Lord Jagannatha, a revered figure in Indian temples. Gajendra Moksa das shared that Lord Jagannatha signifies the Lord of the Universe, an alternate name for Krishna. “Jagannatha’s kindness is boundless. He embarks on a street tour to meet His devotees who cannot visit the temple. Devotees engage in Kirtan to please Lord Jagannatha,” explained Gajendra Moksa das.
The parade reached its triumphant conclusion on Washtenaw, marked by resounding applause from FIA-Chicago, honoring the floats that contributed to the event’s grandeur. The 2023 India Independence Day parade on Devon Avenue will be remembered as a spectacular display of unity, culture, and jubilation, echoing the resilience and vibrancy of the Indian spirit.