India Festival Tampa Bay has become one of the most popular and the largest Indian Cultural events in the United States.
India Festival Tampa Bay began in 1987 at the University of South Florida’s Sun Dome. As the founding Chairman, Dr. Kiran Patel was instrumental in organizing the inaugural event which attracted over 3,000 attendees, with vendors from across the country.
The first festival included an Indian folk dance competition, non-competitive Bollywood dance performances and Indian classical dances such as Kathakali and Bharat Natyam. There was a wide array of homemade Indian food provided by Bay Area families and a stunning collection of jewelry and clothing for sale. This impacted the entire community experiencing entertainment, food, and lots of fun, this created a passion to have it again and again.
It is now the 30th Year, started with only 15 volunteers, the festival now has 150 dedicated volunteers and supporters with the same passion and commitment. Volunteering also provides our Youth an opportunity to earn community hours.
Many cities around the country have followed and have started their own India Festivals, but none have surpassed the magnitude of India Festival Tampa Bay. It has now grown to a 12 hour event of full entertainment, with over 60 entries judged by highly qualified team of judges invited from across the nation; some of our judges are also celebrities.
Every year, over 12,000 people shuffle in and around the Florida State Fairgrounds which became the festival’s new home in 2011. The goal of India Festival is to give the children and families of Indian origin a chance to feel like they have a piece of home right here in Tampa Bay. Now we are able to share our Indian Heritage with so many other communities and cultures and make it an even more unique event.