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updated: 8/13/2014 2:54 PM

Naperville to celebrate India's independence

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Alliance of Midwest India Associations

Naperville Mayor A. George Pradel and other community leaders this weekend will observe India's 68th Independence Day with a flag-raising ceremony and cultural celebration.

Pradel first hosted a flag-raising ceremony in 2009 at the Naperville Municipal Center and has done so each year since. This year's observance is 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 17, at Central Park, 104 E. Benton Ave.

"We are so pleased to have had such great support from Mayor Pradel and other community leaders for this important day to the Indian-American community," said Prem Lalvani of the Alliance of Midwest India Associations. "When I approached the mayor about this in 2009, he was so enthusiastic and supportive."

"Each year, support for our celebration has grown, and now we have moved the celebration to Central Park to accommodate the ever-increasing attendance," with additional support from the Naperville Indian Community Outreach board headed by Krishna Bansal, Lalvani said.

Mayor Pradel and other community leaders will raise the flag at 11 a.m.; afterward, performances will showcase the rich culture and diversity of India. Performances include Indian classical dance, chorus groups and a variety of other entertainment.

Fifteen vendors will offer North Indian and South Indian food, jewelry and Indian clothing, and experts from mortgage, real estate and insurance services will extend their expertise to those who are interested.

Admission is free.