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Friends of India’s Diwali Celebrations Exceeds Expectations

The past weekend Diwali entertainment program was the most lucrative bargain in Las Vegas for the local Indian community. The $30 per person cover included three hours of entertainment by the Indian community members, freshly prepared delicate appetizers, chai and full dinner with Indian desserts. The evening continued with a professional entertainment by the award-winning Bollywood celebrity couple Sameer and Dipalee Date. 

Diwali celebrations at the East Side Cannery Hotel & Casino’s banquet hall was a perfect venue for the evening.  The exquisite hall had ample space for attendees to socialize, plentiful room for dining, unpretentious ambiance along with a spacious dancing floor. Compared to previous years, the audio setup and the sound system for the evening entertainment were impeccable.

Compliments started pouring in on social media and in-person within the first hour of the program.  The entertainment & dinner program started around 4 pm beginning with three hours of well-choreographed dances, music, and singing by the local members of the growing and prosperous Indian community. The local entertainment saw an all-time high participation rate from the local community members.  Over 125 children and adults participated in a 3-hour long entertaining evening.  Throughout the evening, Friends of India’s Cultural Secretary Anu Pande managed the stage with a short introduction of participants and their performances.  Additionally, Anu kept the audience engaged during the local entertainment program. During the program, attendees were appreciative of the pre-dinner array of tasty mouth-watering appetizers along with a freshly prepared Indian chai.

This years’ exceptionally successful Diwali celebrations were highly subsidized and with some estimates, the club spent over $100 per attendee.  This was possible due to aggressive fundraising by the club President Mahendra Mehta and his team members.  In addressing the attendees, Mahendra Mehta sincerely expressed his gratitude to all the generous donors, especially to a couple of anonymous donors who donated copious amounts to underwrite the evening event.  “Some of the donors have already committed to financially assist the club with the next year Diwali celebrations”, said President Mahendra Mehta. 

The dinner was served right after the end of  local entertainment.  All vegetarian dinner, with multiple curries & tawa fry delicacies along with a couple of Indian desserts, catered by the Mint India Bistro, was enjoyed by the attendees. However, the two full-service bars by the hotel did not see much traffic.

The time to party began immediately after the dinner with Bollywood duo Sameer and Dipalee Date.  The couple sang some of the popular yesteryear Bollywood songs, some romantic numbers, followed by the popular Bollywood dancing songs.  The combination of romance of yesteryear and dance songs immediately brought in the attendees to the dance floor.  The floor was packed with attendees for over an hour of an upbeat selection of non-stop dance music and singing. Vegas was rocking on the Bollywood beats.

Although there are over 10,000 Indian Americans who call Southern Nevada their home, close to 600 members of the community, mostly Indian immigrants, attended the celebrations – a slight increase from the previous years.  During and after the program, Friends of India team received voluminous accolades from the audiences for their commitment, dedicated volunteer work and making this year Diwali celebrations a successful community affair to remember.

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