Atlanta, GA, October 10, 2019: The Indian Friends of Atlanta (IFA) has yet again brought the whole community together for the largest ever Freedom Mela 2019 in Atlanta to celebrate the 73rd Indian Independence Day. It was a well-organized event staged at the prestigious Amerisbank Amphitheater in Alpharetta, a suburb of the city of Atlanta. Year after year since 2014, IFA has built on the phenomenal success of the Freedom Mela and 2019 was no exception.
More than 8000 guests turned out to demonstrate their pride and support in celebrating India’s 73rd Independence Day.
Event sponsor 27th Investments Group, Diamond Sponsors Patel Brothers and Suvidha International Grocery supported the event unconditionally by not only supporting financially but also by generously sponsoring food and drinks.
Ameris Bank was setup with Indian and American flags to show the togetherness of two largest democracies in the World. Once in the venue, a 12ft India Gate replica welcomed guests, designed by Creative Customs by MK. The venue and the enormous stage were decorated and draped in tricolors of India and stars and stripes of USA. The stage decorations also featured an elegantly framed video wall and beautifully crafted banners for the main sponsors that blended well with the overall theme.
In the presence of the guests of honors US Congressman Stanford Bishop, State Representatives Todd Jones, Sheik Rehman, Brenda Lopez, Forsyth County Sheriff Ron Freeman, PSC Chairman Bubba McDonald, Lauren McDonald and Former Congresswoman Karen Handel, Consul Shailesh Lakhtakia, Consul Davender Singh from Consulate of India, Atlanta, singers L. V. Revanth (Indian Idol 9), Hanishkha and other distinguished guests, the American and Indian flags were hoisted with touching renditions of the respective national anthems to kick off the celebrations. To mark 5 years of community service, IFA Team along with their spouses and kids hoisted in a specially designed IFA Flag to great excitement of the guests.
Flag hoisting ceremony was followed by fervent and passionate parade showcasing various states of India. IFA Team and Youth volunteer dressed in Indian Freedom fighters costume carrying the Indian tricolor led the parade to the excitement of everyone in the audience and was followed by enthusiastic groups colorfully representing different states of India. Ritesh Desai, Mitesh Patel and Adi Patel helped IFA coordinate government representatives.
Following the parade, a cultural spectacular by over 600 participants exceeding 4 plus hours like never before, depicting the arts and culture of various states, was presented by several dance schools and community organizations. The day was packed with over 30 cultural performances from various dance academies and community organizations, presented in rich colors and in a very entertaining manner. Special performance by Shiv Institute of Dance was one of the program highlights. And, the music concert by Indian Idol 7 winner Revanth was the highlight of the event. Revanth entertained the audience by singing in different languages like Hindi, Telugu, Tamil, Punjabi. MCs for the event, Monty, Nikhitha Kokkirala, Rhea Nara engaged the audience with their clean presentations.
IFA’s Independence Cup presentation was part of Freedom Mela, Revanth awarded the trophy to the Winners (Rangasthalam Raiders) and Jay Talluri (TANA President) awarded the trophy to the runner-up (Sourastra Monsters).
Freedom Mela 2019 had more than 45 vendors with ethnic clothes, jewelry, Mehndi Artists, education services, business services and delectable Indian cuisines.
IFA founding members Sunil Savili, Anil Boddireddy, Shyam Mallavarapu, Sairam Pamulapati, Kiran Gogineni, Srinivas Peddi, and Sreekanth Uppala and the IFA executive team Kishan Tallapally, Lakshmi Thesam, Abay Radhakrishnan, Raaghuveer Reddy, Rakesh Khanna, Deepa Sharma, Jamaludheen Masthankhan, Sanjeev Akula, Suresh Volam, Giridhar Kotagiri, Niranjan Podduturi, Deepa Bajpai, Kranthi Chenupati, Sudeep Telang, Sandeep Reddy acknowledged all the participating associations, 100+ volunteers, sponsors, vendors and the City of Alpharetta, for their hard work dedication and support throughout this massive effort by IFA for the community.
Freedom Mela received great support from different Indian organizations in Georgia, including American Telugu Association (ATA), Bengali Association of Greater Atlanta (BAGA), Georgia Oriya Society (GOS), Greater Atlanta Malayalee Association (GAMA), Greater Atlanta Punjabi Society (GAPS), Telugu Association of North America (TANA), Greater Atlanta Tamil Sangam (GATS), Gujarath Samaj of Atlanta, SEWA, Hindu Temple of Atlanta, IACA, Nrupathunga Kannada Koota, Maharastra Mandal of Atlanta, NRIVA, Rajasthan Association of Georgia (RAJA), Greater Atlanta Telangana Society (GATeS), Telangana Development Forum (TDF), Telanagana American Telugu Association (TATA), and Vibha.