Photos by Vakiti Creations
Johns Creek, GA, Aug 18: On August 15, 2015 Indian friends of Atlanta (IFA) set out to start a new tradition of celebrating the spirit and meaning of Indiain Atlanta with its inaugural Freedom Mela. Over 10,000 fellow Indians, Indian-Americans and Americans converged at Newtown Park in Johns Creek, to celebrate the 69th Independence Day of India.
Freedom Mela is a collaboration of more than 20 Indian associations in metro Atlanta and was graced by chief guests: Consul General of India, Atlanta, Nagesh Singh; Georgia Secretary of State, Brian Kemp; Georgia Senators: John Albers and Michael Williams; Georgia House of Representatives, Hugh Floyd and B. J. Pak and City ofJohnsCreek, Mayor Pro-Tem Steve Broadbent.
A spiritual dance performance – Gananayakaya, kicked off the Freedom Mela followed by flag hoisting of USA and India by guest of honors Brian Kemp and Nagesh Singh respectively. The Flag hoisting was followed by a parade by various states of India accompanied by the moving live music from Isha. More than 500 people participated in the parade from different Indian states: Andhra Pradesh, Bengal, Bihar, Gujarat, Jammu Kashmir, Kerala, Maharashtra, Orisa,Punjab, Rajastan,Tamil Nadu and Telanga. The festive atmosphere displayed the culture of the regions, and the uniqueness, the spirit and the unity of Indian states.
Kids had the most attention at the mela. They had plenty to choose from carnival games, cotton candy, snow cones, popcorn, giant inflatables, stilt walkers, face painters, air brush artists, pony rides, petting zoo featuring baby camels, llamas, turtles and the main attraction- camel rides.
Freedom Mela also featured more than 50 stalls offering ethnic clothes, jewelry, education services, business services and delectable Indian cuisine. A never before seen cultural spectacular of over fours hours by over 500 participants followed the parade, with presentations from various nonprofit missions.
IFA founding members Sunil Savili, Anil Bodireddy, Shyam Mallavarapu, Sreekanth Uppala, Sairam Pamulapati, Kiran Gogineni, and Srinivas Peddi acknowledged all the participating associations, 100+ volunteers, sponsors, vendors and City of Johns Creek. IFA core team specifically recognized the performers and their parents and the tireless efforts of over 100 volunteers.
“The Freedom Mela had the objective of celebrating freedom with all fellow citizens,” said Sunil Savili. We are overwhelmed by the support and participation from the community and want to thank each and every one that participated in Freedom Mela.”
More photos at http://www.vakiti.com/IFA/IFA2015