Atlanta, GA, August 30, 2023: The vibrant spirit of unity and celebration came alive in Atlanta as the Indian Friends of Atlanta (IFA) marked the 77th Indian Independence Day with its signature event, the Freedom Mela. This annual tradition, upheld since 2015, once again brought together the entire community in a colorful and festive atmosphere. The Freedom Mela took place on August 19, 2023, at the Cumming Fairgrounds in the Atlanta suburbs.
Under the summer heat of ‘Hotlanta,’ the IFA community demonstrated its remarkable enthusiasm and excitement for the Freedom Mela, turning out in large numbers. The meticulously organized event showcased a diverse array of cultural programs, a fashion show, a celebrity concert, and a vibrant parade, all orchestrated by the Indian diaspora.
The day began with the hoisting of Indian and American flags by Georgia State Representative Todd Jones and D.V. Singh, the former First Secretary of the Indian Consulate General in Atlanta. The live singing of national anthems by a youth team organized by Anusha Reddy added to the patriotic fervor of the occasion.
The event’s grandeur and execution were masterfully conducted by a team of emcees: Ayshwarya Sridharan, Bhrushira Vyas, Vikas Rattan Goyal, and Srivani Krishna. A multitude of Atlanta-based arts academies contributed to the cultural festivities, showcasing patriotic-oriented musical and dance performances.
Prominent local and state dignitaries graced the occasion, including D.V. Singh, Ritesh Desai, Sudhir Agarwal, Georgia State Representatives Todd Jones and Carter Barret, Alfred John, Forsyth County Chairman of Commissioners John Bradberry, Mayor of the City of Johns Creek Ron Freeman, Sheriff of Forsyth County PJ Girvan, and Cumming’s Police Chief. These dignitaries extended their congratulations on India’s 77th Independence Day and commended the valuable contributions of the Indian diaspora to the United States, particularly the state of Georgia.
The IFA team, led by President Sanjeev Akula, introduced founding members and the executive committee to the attendees. Acknowledging the overwhelming support from sponsors, supporters, and the community, Sunil Savili, the founding Chairman of IFA, passionately advocated for greater integration of the Indian community into various aspects of American society.
A colorful and lively parade, led by Actress Simran Ahuja as the Grand Marshal, showcased various states and associations. The parade featured traditional dress, dance performances, and regional background music by different state teams, culminating in vibrant Dhol Tasha and Lezim dancing.
The evening’s highlight was a dynamic music concert by Raghav, a pop fusion artist, and Shilpi Paul, captivating the audience with their performances.
IFA extended its heartfelt gratitude to sponsors who played a pivotal role in the success of Freedom Mela 2023. Patel Brothers, SWAD, Suvidha International Market, and others were recognized for their contributions.
The event catered to attendees’ needs through various vendors, including food stalls from Bombay Lounge, Pista House, Fire Fly, and others. Vendors also showcased Indian ethnic wear, jewelry, and other items, contributing to the vibrant atmosphere.
The event was extensively covered by Sri Photography by Suresh Volam’s team of videographers and photographers, with audio and LED support from Bytegraph. Creative Customs by Madhavi Korrapati added to the event’s visual appeal.
IFA expressed gratitude to media partners including ASIA Net, TVAsia, TV9, NRI Pulse, and others for their unwavering support in promoting the event.
The cooperation of Cumming Fairgrounds Staff and the security services provided by the Cumming Police Department were acknowledged by IFA.
IFA welcomed the overwhelming support from the community and pledged to address any concerns for future events. The success of the Freedom Mela reaffirmed its status as a hallmark event within the Atlanta Indian community.
For more event information, visit Ifaworld.org or follow IFA on their Facebook page: Ifa Atlanta.