Authentic Cuisine and Cultural Dance Highlight the Festival of India

Part of the 2007 PECO Multicultural Series At Penn's Landing

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, UNITED STATES

PHILADELPHIA, Aug. 2, 2007 (PRIME NEWSWIRE) -- Celebrate the ethnic heritage of India at Penn's Landing on Saturday, August 18, 2007. This FREE event will continue from Noon until 7 p.m. with a day full of food, music, dancing and crafts. The Festival of India will be held at the Great Plaza on Penn's Landing, on Columbus Boulevard at Chestnut Street. This year's celebration will commemorate "Sixty years of India's Independence" and "150 Years of India's First War of Independence". This popular event, which attracts close to 10,000 people each year, reflects many facets of the local Indian-American diaspora and provides a range of traditional to contemporary styles of Indian art, music and dance. The Festival of India, produced by the Council of Indian Organizations (CIO), is supported by the more than 25 active Indian organizations in the Greater Philadelphia region. This event, one of the ten cultural festivals that make up the PECO Multicultural Series is also made possible by Independence Blue Cross, the presenting sponsor of the 2007 Summer season at Penn's Landing.

Festival of India is a colorful panorama of traditional as well as contemporary art, music and dance, food ..... a mosaic that is...India. A "must see" spot is the India Pavilion -- an exhibit of India as it transforms itself, drawing strength from its rich ancient heritage and evolving into a modern industrial state. Festival of India 2007 will feature live entertainment, authentic Indian cuisine and a variety of cultural exhibits and displays. There will also be brief sessions on such topics as Yoga, Indian Art, music, instruments, books, artistic interpretations and culture.

The cultural program -- a highlight of the Festival of India -- provides a showcase for classical traditional and modern dance and music programs including performances by students from local music and dance schools. This year's cultural program will include classical dances like the Bharatanatyam, which is the most widely practiced and ancient of the classical Indian dances. There will also be other classical dance performances of Kuchipudi and Kathak, both of which are more dramatic in form, folk dances such as Bhangra, and contemporary style of Bollywood dance which is a combination of singing and dancing that has become popular at parties, weddings and social functions.

In addition, vendors will be on hand selling delicious food, colorful Indian garments, crafts, jewelry and various other items. A variety of food will be offered from both North and South India for visitors to enjoy. The authentic Indian fare will include Kolkata rasgulla (punder balls in sugar syrup), Gujrati dohkla (a salty steamed cake), and Chennai idli (a steamed batter made from black lentils and rice). A ceremonial decoration, Mehendi, will be available to be done on the hands in different designs. This Henna based paste is squeezed onto the skin and when sets, flakes away to leave a red tinted pattern which lasts about two weeks. Rangel, a decoration of worship, will be demonstrated. Rangoli is described as a design that is first drawn then decorated with different colored powders or sand. The powder or sand can also be mixed with paint or food color to add to the design.

This free event, presented by PECO and the Council of Indian Organizations in Greater Philadelphia, works to publicize the importance of the Indian culture and community to the Philadelphia region. *Admission is free for all PECO Multicultural Series events. PECO presents a series of free Multicultural festivals throughout the summer season at the Great Plaza at Penn's Landing.

Council of Indian Organizations in Greater Philadelphia (CIO) was established in 1983 as an umbrella organization and has grown to represent more than 25 active Indian organizations in the Greater Philadelphia area. The organization's objectives are to provide a common platform from which to pursue common goals, to promote and coordinate community activities, to provide civic and political education to people of Indian origin, and to act as a representative for the Asian Indian community.

PECO is proud to be Philadelphia's hometown energy company and one of the region's most prominent civic supporters. PECO is committed to recruiting and retaining a diverse workforce and celebrating diversity inside and outside the Company.

Based in Philadelphia, PECO is an electric and natural gas utility subsidiary of Exelon Corporation (NYSE:EXC). PECO serves 1.6 million electric and 480,000 natural gas customers in southeastern Pennsylvania. In 2006, the company delivered 38.2 million megawatt-hours (Mwh) of electricity and 76.1 billion cubic feet of natural gas to residential, business and institutional customers. PECO's energy delivery services generated $5.17 billion in revenue for Exelon.

Founded in 1881, PECO is one of the Greater Philadelphia Region's most active corporate citizens, providing leadership, volunteer and financial support to numerous arts and culture, education, environmental, economic development and community programs and organizations.

Penn's Landing Corporation is the non-profit organization responsible for funding and producing public programming on the Great Plaza, Philadelphia's Delaware Waterfront Park. Independence Blue Cross is the presenting sponsor of the 2007 Summer Season at Penn's Landing. All events produced by Penn's Landing Corporation are FREE to the public and on the Great Plaza, the heart of Penn's Landing, Philadelphia's premier riverfront entertainment destination.

Public Programming at Penn's Landing would not be possible without presenting sponsor Independence Blue Cross and the continued support of PECO, Bank of America, the Philadelphia Coca-Cola Bottling Company, Pennsylvania Lottery, Live Nation, and the Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation, all of whom are committed to serving the Greater Philadelphia community.

For more information on event locations and event details, please call (215) 922-2FUN or visit The Penn's Landing Corporation website is a virtual resource for the waterfront which can help visitors plan to easily park, play and stay all day at Penn's Landing.

The Penn's Landing Corporation logo is available at


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