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updated: 8/2/2012 5:48 PM

Punjabi Sports Festival returns to Palatine

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  • More than 1,000 people attended the Punjabi Cultural Society of Chicago's annual Punjabi Sports Festival in 2008 at Palatine's Community Park.

      More than 1,000 people attended the Punjabi Cultural Society of Chicago's annual Punjabi Sports Festival in 2008 at Palatine's Community Park.
    courtesy of the Punjabi cultural society of Chicag

Daily Herald report

After several years of moving around, the Punjabi Cultural Society of Chicago is bringing back a scaled-down, indoor version of its Punjabi Sports Festival home to Palatine.

The 18th annual event will be held Saturday, Aug. 4, at Falcon Park Recreation Center, 2195 N. Hicks Road.

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"The festival is an opportunity to promote healthy living while also unifying the community," spokesman Rajinder Mago said.

The Punjabi Cultural Society of Chicago is a nonprofit community service organization devoted to promoting a healthy lifestyle and sports, education, good citizenship, Punjabi culture, language and performing arts.

The festival's inauguration ceremony will take place from 11 to 11:30 a.m. and feature a brief parade. State Treasurer Dan Rutherford and former Palatine Mayor Rita Mullins, a longtime supporter, will in attendance, Mago said.

All-day basketball and volleyball tournaments will run from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. inside the new, air-conditioned facility. More than 20 teams are registered to compete for trophies and cash prizes.

Palatine was home to the sports festival for many years until park district officials couldn't guarantee a facility would be available, Mago said. It then bounced around locations including parks in Chicago, Hoffman Estates and Addison.

But both the Punjabi Cultural Society of Chicago and the Sikh Religious Society of Chicago are based in Palatine, and leaders hoped to eventually bring back the event.

Mago said that due to budget constraints, the festival, which in the past has drawn a couple thousand people, was cut from two days to one. There won't be free food, either.

"It got to be expensive and we don't have that kind of money," Mago said. "But it will still be a good festival."

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