Go Fest!: India Festival

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

Why you should go:

Because you've had a slight obsession with Indian culture since the moment you walked out of last year's Oscar-winning Slumdog Millionaire. The underdog tale was a joyous celebration of India's rich culture, and from the flavorful foods to the colorful fashions to the thriving Bollywood movie industry, all of it will be on exhibit at Saturday's festival.

A shopping bazaar will offer ethnic clothing, jewelry, handicrafts, musical instruments and more. Plus you can participate in a yoga tutorial, watch 16 Ohio teams compete in a cricket tournament and take in the "Jai Ho" dance sequence from Millionaire.

What's new:

Fashion Fusion, a fashion show featuring regional styles and music, moves beyond your typical runway show by capturing the striking styles of Indian dress while telling a story through a narrative dance sequence.

What to eat & drink:

Columbus' finest Indian restaurants will be serving food from all regions of the country at 15 booths. Standouts include upscale eatery Cuisine of India, Amul India's northern-influenced cuisine and Bayleaf India Bistro's Indo-Chinese fusion.

Indian cuisine is known for using exotic herbs and spices in curry, tandoori and kabob dishes. Traditional favorites include samosas (fried pastries filled with meat or vegetables), dosas (crepes made from rice and lentils) and biriyani rice dishes often paired with lamb or chicken.


Dance is a vital aspect of Indian culture, and the day will be filled with it. Multiple solo and group performances of classical and Bollywood music (a blend of conventional and Western styles) are planned throughout the day.

Modern and classical fusion dance sequences will be offered up during group dance recitals from various age groups. Also, folk dancers representing the different states of India will showcase their specific cultures and traditions.

Besides dances, performers of all ages will offer up vocal and instrumental renditions of India's most popular tunes. While some of the day's acts are purely entertainment, others will be judged as part of the festival's Talent Hunt competition.

Don't miss:

Indian Idol finalist Vishal Kothari will take the stage in the evening to perform his brand of infectious Indian pop music. Kothari will be accompanied by a full band and several other artists from the Indian movie industry.

What you need to know: India Festival

Where: Veterans Memorial, Downtown

When: Saturday, Sept. 19

Hours: 10 a.m.-10 p.m.

Cost: $6

Parking: $5 on site

Web: indiafestival.org