2018-01-17 / Front Page

Phagwah Parade Pushed Back For Better Weather

The Organizing Committee (OC) of Phagwah Parade 2018 announced that plans for the 30th Annual Phagwah Parade in Richmond Hill are currently underway.

Phagwah, or Holi, will be observed on March 4, but the parade will take place on Saturday, April 14. The parade route will be the same as in 2017, with the floats moving off at noon from 133rd Street and Liberty Avenue. It will continue to Phil Rizzuto Park (formerly Smokey Oval Park), Richmond Hill, where a cultural program will take place.
In the previous 29 years of the Phagwah Parade, the organizers have scheduled the event as close as possible to the religious observances, but cold weather on parade day would cause much discomfort to the participants who would either stay away, or leave the event much earlier than they would have liked, the OC explained.
 “By our standards, the parade cost a lot of money, and hundreds of man-hours, to put together, not counting the cost borne by people who travel long distances to be in Queens on that day, or those who arrange work and personal schedules just to be in the parade...they do all of this and then the event is curtailed because of bad weather. The committee felt that it should try to ensure that our people get a comfortable and enjoyable parade with maximum participation, hence the request to our respective organizations, the Arya Spiritual Center (ASC) and Federation of Hindu Mandirs (FOHM), to approve the delay of a few weeks after the religious observance of Holi, with the expectation that it is more likely to have a tolerable parade-friendly day in April rather than early March.”
The members of the FOHM & ASC held in-depth discussions on the matter and after looking at the Hindu calendar, all parties agreed to have the parade on Saturday April 14.
 The OC explained, “It is well known that Richmond Hill is home to the largest Indo-Caribbean (persons of Indian origin from Guyana, Trinidad & Suriname) community in the United States, and we are proud to be able to contribute to the cultural diversity of the greatest city in the world by organizing and implementing a public celebratory event like this parade.
“We believe that having the parade on April 14 will not make it less attractive. On the contrary, warmer weather will bring more people out. The Phagwah Parade has acquired its own identity and is the main cultural expression of our people in NYC. We should not allow poor scheduling to stifle its important contribution to the city’s cultural landscape.”

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