Diwali celebration lights up Rugby town centre - The Rugby Observer

Diwali celebration lights up Rugby town centre

Editorial Correspondent 6th Nov, 2023 Updated: 8th Nov, 2023   0

MUSIC, dance and a lantern parade lit up Rugby at Rugby’s first ever town-wide Diwali celebration on Sunday (November 5).

Thousands of residents filled the town centre with light and colour to celebrate the Hindu, Sikh and Jain festival.

Organised by Rugby Indian Communities with support from Rugby Borough Council (RBC) and Rugby First, the free Light It Up event featured a stage in Market Place hosting entertainment presented by BBC Asian Network’s Bhav Parmar.

The festival of light winning over darkness was symbolised with a lantern parade. Other traditional Indian celebrations included Bhangra dancing, drumming of Indian Dhol drums, street food, and Mehndi body art.

Coun Ish Mistry, who organised the event with the Rugby Indian Community and who is Deputy Leader of the Labour Group on RBC, said: “It was an amazing Diwali Celebration enjoyed by over 2,000 people present.

“Indian communities have been waiting for long time to come together in the town centre.

“The dancing, singing, food and colourful procession with Lanterns and Rangoli boards created a great atmosphere.

“My thanks to all the performers, volunteers, RBC and Rugby First for making it possible to stage such a wonderful event.

“I want to wish everyone a Happy Diwali.”

Mayor Maggie O’Rourke, who led the countdown to the switch-on of the Diwali lights, said: “I was truly honoured to attend the first every Diwali celebration in Rugby town centre on Sunday.

“It was an amazing event with thousands of residents joining in the celebrations and the parade of light around the centre.

“Thanks to all who made this a reality and I do hope that this will become an established annual event in our town centre.”

Coun Derek Poole, Leader of RBC and of the Conservative Group, said: “The town-wide Diwali celebrations were a vibrant, colourful and inclusive display involving residents of all ages.

“I thoroughly enjoyed the day, especially the children’s parade, and want to thank everyone involved.”

Coun Jerry Roodhouse, Leader of the Liberal Democrat group on RBC, said: “The event brought light into the darkness and communities together.

“It was a happy occasion which families enjoyed. My thanks also go to the organisers.”

Diwali – which symbolises new beginnings and the spiritual victory of knowledge over ignorance, good over evil, and light over darkness – takes place on Sunday November 12.

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