Phagwah parade celebrates 30 years

All the colors: Parade revelers covered in colored powder celebrate the annual Phagwah parade in Richmond Hill on April 14.
Community News Group / Mike Shain

The annual Phagwah parade celebrated its 30-year anniversary in Richmond Hill on April 14. The parade, usually held in March, was pushed back to April earlier this year to avoid cold weather. The rescheduling did not disappoint, and parade-goers came out in droves, said the parade’s co-chair.

“The park was filled and we had thousands of people show up — it was a really great turnout of a lot of people,” said Herman Singh.

Phagwah is another name for Holi, a religious observance in Hinduism that celebrates the beginning of spring. It is also known as the festival of colors and it is customary to throw colored powder during festivities.

Some 24 artists from Trinidad and Guyana performed on floats on the parade route, which started at Liberty Avenue and 133rd Street, and ended at 125th Street and Atlantic Avenue.

Earlier this year, organizers of the parade decided to delay the celebration until mid-April. Singh said the previous year, cold temperatures put a slight damper on the event for artists, and many revelers left early or did not attend at all. But this time around there were no worries.

“The businesses in the area came out in support, so did members of the community, and we had wonderful weather, so pushing it back really paid,” said Singh.

Reach reporter Alexandra Simon at (718) 260–8310 or e-mail her at asimo[email protected]local.com.

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