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VALLEY ROUNDUP | Woodland Hills

Event to Celebrate India's Independence

August 14, 2000|MARJORIE HERNANDEZ

A festival Saturday at Pierce College will celebrate the 53rd anniversary of India's independence, marking the first year the event will be held in the San Fernando Valley.

In previous years, the festival was held in Artesia, the center of the Indian business community. But in the last 19 years, the Valley's Indo-American population has quadrupled to 50,000. Festival organizers chose the site to bring the cultural celebration closer to the growing population.

The event, which will run from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., will include a free health fair sponsored by the Tri-Valley Medical Group beginning at noon. Diabetes screenings and seminars on high blood pressure and weight control will be available.

The festival will showcase cultural song and dance performances from children and professionals.

There will be booths for more than 50 area businesses and food vendors offering samples of such traditional Indian dishes as curry, vegetables and tandoori chicken.

"Nothing in the Valley on this scale has been done before," said Dinesh Lakhanpal, an executive member of the Festival of India Committee, the event sponsor. The purpose of the festival is "to unite the Indian community in the Valley." Booths will be placed at Swisher Park and the Pierce College mall in the center of the campus, at Mason and Victory. For more information, call (818) 773-5880.

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