Festival of Colors brightens up Peace Plaza Saturday evening

(ABC 6 News) – For the second year the Indian Cultural Association of Minnesota, also known as ICAM, held the Festival of Colors in Rochester.

Peace Plaza was covered in colors everywhere. Clothes, people, even the ground.

“Color is more often celebrating. When you celebrate something, when you celebrate some success, when you celebrate something good, about doing something good, we celebrate with color,” said Ajay Singh, the President of ICAM.

Traditionally the festival is celebrated in March.

“Being a Minnesotan in Rochester, it’s too cold to actually enjoy the true essence of the festival with the color and water, so that’s how the idea originated to do it in the summer,” said Sarika Pandey, one of ICAM’s board members and organizer of the event.

The Festival of Colors comes from a Hindu holiday known as Holi.

It dates back to the fourth century in India, but it’s gained popularity throughout the world as people from all cultures and backgrounds are invited to join in the celebrations.

“The way we play it is to bring everyone together, so even if you haven’t spoken to someone for years, you meet them today. Irrespective of your differences you come together,” said Pandey.

The event started at 3:30 p.m. with a 5k run from Soldier’s Field Park.

There were activities for the whole family, such as face painting and lots of dancing.

Vendors sold food, clothes, jewelry and more, but the main events were the flash mob dance and the water color.

ICAM was formed in 2020 as a way to connect the Indian community with the larger community in Rochester.

“To educate about different cultures, different clothes. You might be seeing the sari, and different dresses, even this is the one I’m wearing, this is called the pata,” said Singh.

ICAM wants the whole community to come out and celebrate with them, but be warned: You won’t walk away without a little bit of color on you.