Tampa Bay’s India Festival has become one of the most popular Indian cultural events in the United States. India Festival was first hosted in 1988 at University of south Florida’s Sun Dome. As founding chairman for India Festival , Dr. Kiran Patel wanted to stage an event that would portray our rich Indian culture to mainstream American community of Tampa Bay as well as surrounding communities. Dr. Patel was instrumental in organizing the first event which drew a large gathering of more than 3000 attendees, Vendors around the country as well as dancers. The event had various teams of different age groups that competed in Indian folk dances. There were numerous solo non-competitive dance performances of Indian classical dances such as Kathakali, Bharat Natyam and Film songs. There was an array of different types of home-made Indian food provided by the bay area families and stunning collection of Indian Jewelry and clothing available to browse and/or purchase. This event was very successful.
This year will be 26th India Festival of Tampa Bay. Due to its ongoing success and continued growth of the Indian population in the US, many cities now host their own India Festival. However none so far surpass the magnitude of the Tampa bay India Festival which has become tradition for Gujarati Samaj of Tampa Bay and Indian community.
The standard has been set and each year the bar continues to rise. India Festival has become an event that now attracts in excess of more than 10000 attendees. The dances have become so competitive and classy that it is a unique opportunity to watch our youth talent and the fusion of east and west. Although dances are the highlight, the variety of food ,cultural items as well as wide array of fashion clothing and jewelry displayed by vendors, attracts a wide cross section of tourist and American alike.