Preview Holi Festival’s return to Baton Rouge this Saturday

Music, dance and lots of color will mingle in Repentance Park this Saturday as Holi Festival makes its triumphant return to Baton Rouge.

This weekend’s festivities, organized by nonprofit organization Colors of the World Inc., will be Holi Festival’s second event in the Red Stick following a successful inaugural event in 2019 and two years of COVID-19-related postponements.

According to Manisha Patel, president of Colors of the World, that first event was organized after she recognized a desire within Baton Rouge’s Indian community to celebrate the traditional Hindu festival right here in the Capital City.

“Holi is a huge holiday in India, and there are several of us in the Indian community who wanted to do something, but nobody ever pulled the trigger,” Patel said. “So we decided to see what we could do.”

Attendees at the inaugural Holi Festival in 2019.

For those unfamiliar, Holi is an ancient Hindu festival, also known as the “Festival of Colors” or the “Festival of Love,” celebrating the arrival of spring and the blossoming of love. Vibrant colors are an iconic element of the celebrations.

Patel said she only expected a couple hundred festival-goers for the 2019 event, but the actual turnout far exceeded those expectations with over 500 attendees. She’s optimistic that Saturday’s celebration will be similarly successful.

Holi Festival attendees can expect music from DJ Volcanic, traditional and Bollywood dance performances, henna art, face painting and, of course, lots of color. Admission to the family-friendly event is free of charge. Powdered color packets, food and drink will be available for purchase, with a portion of the proceeds directly benefiting the Global India Foundation, the Three O’Clock Project and the Vince Ferachi Community Garden.

“We’re thrilled to present such a fun and exciting event that celebrates the cultural diversity of our community,” Patel said. “Come and experience something you haven’t experienced before.”

Holi Festival is set to take place on Saturday, March 12, from 2 to 5 p.m. at Repentance Park in downtown Baton Rouge, located between the Old State Capitol and the Raising Cane’s River Center.

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