This past Saturday, Louisville got a little spicier.
VindaLou: Louisville’s Spiciest Festival, formerly known as India Day, brought India to downtown Louisville in its yearly celebration of Indian culture and traditions. Held at the Belvedere, this year’s festival, presented by the Indian Community of KY, featured carrom tournaments, rangoli demonstrations, a cultural showcase, henna tattoo stations, an “Indian Bee” spelling competition, and much more, attracting visitors from all over the city.
As the sounds of bollywood and traditional Indian music blasted throughout the Belvedere, visitors were momentarily transported to India. It was a true celebration of culture as several Indian states, such as Punjab, Sikkim, and Andhra Pradesh, proudly displayed their state’s heritage. Visitors were even greeted with a map of India, where natives proudly listed their home states.
The festival lived up to its spicy claim as buffets of traditional Indian cuisine lined the outskirts of the Belvedere. Vendors like Bhavana Foods, Shalimar Restaurant, and Bombay Grill offered traditional dishes from all over India, including ragda pattice and bhelpiri, well-known snacks associate with Mumbai, and batata vada, a popular vegetarian dish from Maharashtra. Dosas, crispy pancakes from Southern India; channa bhatura, a deep fried bread dish with chickpea curry from North India; and many other dishes were also offered, giving visitors a diverse taste of India.
Golden bangles and colorful kurtis and sareers filled the extensive marketplace, which offered a wide array of traditional Indian merchandise. The marketplace also included several henna tattoo stations, which proved to be one of the festival’s more popular attractions. Inviting visitors to take home a little piece of India, the marketplace vendors also gave customers the opportunity to give something back, as much of the proceeds will benefit various Indian orphanages.
An annual celebration of Indian culture and traditions, India Day received a new name and rightfully so. VindaLou: Louisville’s Spiciest Festival definitely added some spice to the city of Louisville and will continue to do so for years to come.
Photo: Louisville.com/Kristen Hamilton