For the First Time, Long Island Will Have an India Day Parade


Long Islanders who come to Hicksville to dine on dosas, shop for saris, and sip chai tea know this already: Indians are the second largest immigrant group on Long Island, reinvigorating area communities economically and culturally. According to a report by the Fiscal Policy Institute, 84 percent of Indian immigrants on Long Island work in white collar jobs and 1,184 small businesses are Indian owned. Downtown Hicksville, with its array of restaurants and shops from the subcontinent, has become a culinary destination where you can sample foods from different regions and where immigrants can find a taste of home.

Now, to complement the demographic growth of Long Island’s Indian population over recent decades, the first-ever India Day Parade will take place in Hicksville this Saturday. Organizers expect more than 30,000 people, which would put the event on par with the Salvadoran American Day Festival, held in Hempstead last weekend.

Newsday’s Emily Ngo reports:

The Island’s first India Day Parade, which organizers hope will draw as many as 30,000 celebrants, is to step off Saturday in Hicksville.
It is to feature about 25 floats, dozens of dancers and band members, arts and crafts, an endless array of Indian food—and Indian celebrity and former Bollywood star Vinod Khanna as a grand marshal.
The parade, themed “Celebrating Democracy,” begins at 1 p.m. and will run up South Broadway.
“It’s us celebrating as a true democracy,” said Batra, the parade’s media liaison. “Democratic India and America. We have the same values.”

Feature image courtesy of Mat McDermott via Flickr

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