Thousands Attend First Ever Outdoor Diwali - Festival of Lights
Mallika Sherawat and Bhumi Trivedi surprise everyone at the event.
By A Correspondent
“I love you all!” Mallika Sherawat crooned to frenzied fans at the Great Punjab Business Centre this past Sunday, October 12, 2014, where more than 12,000 people came together over the course of the day to enjoy the first ever-outdoor Diwali festival in the GTA. The Diwali Festival of Lights was presented by Tide.
The superstar actress known for her sensuous portrayals in popular Bollywoodfilms, made a brief appearance to officially kick off the grand fireworks display. Earlier in what was a remarkably warm day, the attendees were treated to family fun activities, amazing performances and some sumptuous Indian fare. The daylong celebration began on a high note by energetic performances by Band Baja (a brass band playing Indian tunes); followed by some foot-stomping act by renowned South Asian singer, Saima Myssa Khan who brought the crowd to their feet with an unique rendition of “Baby Doll”.
Next up were Mohit Bhatnagar and Ranbir Chauhan who sang some old Rafi-Mukesh-Kishore favourites for the crowd that demanded an encore. Parmjit Hans brought out the Bhangra with some zesty numbers that had both old and young dancing in the crowd. The audience also got to see violist, Grenville Pinto go head to head with well-known Dholi player, Tanveer with an east meets west music composition.
“Diwali is all about spending time with loved ones. So, we wanted to create an event that did just that; from the youngest to the oldest, we wanted people to come out and spend the day with their family and friends; and celebrate Diwali like we do back home. The festival wanted people from all walks of life and cultures to enjoy the very first outdoor event: Festival of Lights,” said Sanjay Agnihotri, Director, Business Development, Metroland Specialty Markets. “And this would not have been possible without the support of P&G.”
While kids enjoyed face painting, balloon making and bouncy castles, attendees enjoyed several interactive games at the various booths put up by lead sponsors Tide. “The Tide interactive game was very fast and engaging for the entire family! I even won a Mr. Clean bottle!,” said an excited Aman Gupta who came from Brampton to be a part of the festivities with his family.
“Tide, Crest, Pantene and other leading P&G brands have partnered with Real Canadian Superstore® and Loblaws® to present Diwali Festival of Lights for the first time. The GTA is such a cultural mosaic and it’s time to shine a light on thefestivities of this diverse city,” says Ashwin Garg, Category Brand Manager, P&G Canada.
The activities were based on the Diwali theme. In one corner, there was a beauty and grooming station where attendees tried the latest COVERGIRL, Pantene, Olay, Gillette and Old Spice products to put their best face forward during Diwali.
As a crisp evening breeze settled in, singing sensation and one of the most popular contestants from Indian Idol, Bhumi Trivedi got on stage and for the next two hours and had the crowd dancing to snappy Dandia numbers including her own chartbusting hit, “Ram Chahe Leela” from the hit Bollywood film, “Goliyon ki Rasleela-Ramleela”. She sang garba and dandia numbers from popular Bollywood films as well as nostalgic folk numbers.
“You are my inspiration. It is your love, participation and encouragement that makes me perform! You are the best crowd ever,” said the ecstatic Trivedi, overwhelmed by the enthusiastic response of her audience.
As one of the biggest and most popular festivals in the South Asian community,Diwali celebrates the triumph of good over evil. A time to get together with the entire family, the Festival of Lights was the perfect weekend celebration! “I had the time of my life,” summed up 16 year-old Saurabh Shah, enjoying the grand finale fireworks.