Happening in the USA for the past 28 years, festival Pakistan is a tradition turned into America’s biggest festival by the Pakistani community of the region. Originated by Pakistani American Zahid Hameedi, as a celebration of national spirit, Festival Pakistan first started in 1987 as a mini carnival – an ensemble of Pakistani artists amid music, desi food and shopping options all in one place. After 28 years, the festival is now officially recognized by the American government as Pakistan’s international celebrations.
This year, Pakistan Festival was held at Bull Run Park in Virginia and was massively attended by the local community that flocked in from different states. The event also graced the presence of Hon. Terri McAuliffe, Governor of the State of Virginia alongside other notable personalities from international forums with a crowd surpassing 10,000 people.
The celebration featured a fun filled day for all ages, astonishing cultural performances by noted and popular artists from Pakistan, ethnic Pakistani cuisine, handicrafts, boutiques, sports, kite flying and children entertainment.
The festival was also free for public without any parking fees.
Among the various artists that performed at the festival included Ali Haider, Shariq Roomi, Jawad Ahmed, Ahmed Jehanzaib, Shahi Hassan, Shazia Manzoor, Shazia Khushk, Todd Shea and many other names. The festival was hosted by Canadian Pakistani, Miss Pakistan.
Among other attractions for the attendees of the festival were carnival games, lot of Rides including pony and train, Moon Bounce, Acrobats, Magician, Clown, cultural performances and free gifts to every child.
The formal program started a while after noon with recitation of Qur’an and headed on with a presentation of colors by a contingent of U.S. Army Color Guard. National Anthem of Pakistan and USA, Messages and Proclamations were also presented following astonishing and spectacular cultural performances by popular artists, Musical Bands.
Speaking at the event, the governor of state of Virginia said we are proud of the achievements of the Pakistani Americans not only in Virginia but also in the United States. Pakistani culture is a beautiful culture.
Commenting on the success of the event, Zahid Hameedi said, “The celebration of the 69th anniversary of Pakistan independence is truly joyous and auspicious occasion. We should be proud of the prestige of our native land and reaffirm our conviction to make it stronger, democratic and more prosperous. We celebrated the first Pakistan Independence Day at Lincoln Memorial, Washington DC on August 14, 1987. There was no place more appropriate to hold Independence Day celebrations than the memorial of Abraham Lincoln, emancipator and quintessential American hero.”
Mr hameedi is a prominent activist of the Pakistani community, has been a prominent journalist and was recently awarded with the Pride of Performance award upon his recent visit to Pakistan.