Hicksville, Long Island:About 5000 people enjoyed the 2nd India day Parade afternoon in Hicksville in Long Island on Sunday afternoon. Colorful floats started from Patel Brothers plaza after an inaugural kick-off with dignitaries addressed the crowd gathered in the parking lot of the plaza. On a sunny day, about 25 separate groups and floats from companies such as eBola, Apna Bazar, Indus-American Bank, Patel Bros, Tom Suozzi supporters, INOC (I), Telugu Literary and Cultural Association, Gobind Sarvar School marched with Grand Marshal film star Aarti Chhabaria and Miss USA 2005 Chelsea Cooley. VIPs from the government, local businesses and community joined the parade to be a part of the Independence Day celebrations.

Bystanders watched the 3- mile long parade that was all full of fun as participants covered the route with color and music. VIPs such as Harry Singh. Jaswinder Johal and Deepak Bhardwaj of Apna Bazar, Amit Ray of Air India. Mohinder Taneja, T J Gill and Zinda Singh of of INOC(I), Sher Singh of Nargis Dutt Memorial (NDMF), and Tom Suozzi joined the parade. The parade ended in the parking lot where a giant stage was set up and the perimeter of the lot was decorated with colorful stalls.

The stage was managed by Bobby Kumar as the Emcee as public and political dignitaries from Nassau County and township came one by one to greet the community and confirm their commitment towards the Indian community. The last couple of years have shown a solid growth in Indian community’s involvement in local Government as well as in political positions. Despite excellent PR work by Ajay Batra, all mediapersons except one were completely bypassed, and even asked to collect their plaques from a table outside. Barring for a select few, almost all VIPs from the Indian community were sidelined at the Gala dinner held at the beautiful Antuns by Minar. While the food was great, what left to be desired at the parade was the leadership’s failure to expand the Executive committee to include more top level individuals from the Island who can help to take the parade to next level in years to come. The hope is there but a lot of work needs to be done.

With a tough election coming up for Nassau County Executive position in November, the influence of current Executive Ed Mangano’s team on the parade and its team was very clear. His presence overpowering, With the presence of top community leaders at the parade, Ed Mangano seemed to be the main focus at the post-event dinner to celebrate the success of the parade.

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