The India Fest of Manasota drew a healthy crowd of about 4,000 people to the the Bradenton Convention Center in Palmetto last year. It’s reasonable to expect that at least that many will attend this year’s festival on Saturday.
This will be the fourth annual edition of the festival, and its reputation has been growing every year. A lot of members of the Bradenton-area Indian community come to celebrate their culture, but it’s just as popular with people of other ethnicities who come for the food and the entertainment. In fact, the vast majority of festival attendees are not of Indian descent. Last year families from as far away as Tampa made the trip to Palmetto for India fest.
Food is perhaps the main attraction take have taken part in India Fest.
The festival is divided into two sessions, with stage presentations from noon-2:30 p.m. and 4-8 p.m. The second session will be essentially a repeat of the first, which makes the festival’s programs available to more people. Food and shopping will continue throughout the day. There’s so much going on that lots of people stay for both sessions so they can experience everything the festival has to offer.
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In between the two sessions are a yoga presentation starting at 2:30 p.m. and interactive Bhangra (a form of folk dancing from the Punjab regions of India) with a DJ beginning at 3:15 p.m.
In addition to providing a full day of fun, organizers say the festival has a goal of countering stereotypes about Indian culture. India is large country, and culture and traditions vary from one region to another. India fest celebrates the richness and diversity of India by looking at the the richness of its culture.