Diwali Fest 2022! Celebrate Diversity And Culture In Southlake Texas

Diwali Fest 2022! Celebrate Diversity And Culture In Southlake Texas

Are you ready for Diwali Fest? If you are in the DFW area, this festival is one you don’t want to miss. Diwali Fest 2022 will be held on October 22, 2022, at the Southlake Town Square from 3:00 p.m. to midnight in Southlake, Texas. This family-friendly event features delectable foods, children’s crafts and games, cultural dance performances, clothing, and jewelry exhibits, and so much more. So come on out to the Rustin Pavilion located at 1400 Main Street, Southlake, TX 76092, and celebrate diversity and culture!

What Is Diwali Fest?

Diwali Fest is an Indian festival also known as the festival of lights. It’s celebrated by Indian culture and traditions featuring dances, food, and performances. Diwali Fest is open to people from all different cultures. It’s a way to bring the community together through a fun multicultural event.

Southlake Foundation is a non-profit organization that sponsors the event each year. Their goal is to bring all members of the community together, promoting harmony and peaceful co-existence without compromising our own culture and heritage. 

"Diwali Fest is near and dear to my heart, and I personally have been inspired by the welcoming and diverse atmosphere and the spirit of togetherness. I have sponsored the event in previous years and gladly continue to volunteer, support, network, and promote the event," says Lacy Milani-Ingalls.

History of Diwali

Diwali is also called Divali or Deepavali. The festival of lights celebrates the triumph of light over darkness and good over evil. It encompasses the blessings of victory, freedom, and enlightenment. The name comes from Sanskrit, “Deepavali,” meaning “row of lights.” On the night of Diwali, those who celebrate light dozens of candles and clay lamps called diyas. They place them through their homes and on the streets to light up the dark night. 

In most of India, Diwali is a five-day celebration that peaks on the third day as the main celebration. In some places where Diwali is celebrated, only the main day is the day it’s celebrated. 

Diwali is primarily celebrated by those who follow the Hindu, Sikh, and Jain faiths. However, the holiday is celebrated throughout India, Singapore, and several other South Asian countries as a national holiday. People outside of these religions also celebrate Diwali, so you do not have to practice these faiths to attend Diwali celebrations. The United States, United Kingdom, Australia, and other countries also regularly celebrate Diwali. 

Diwali occurs annually in the fall (or spring in the southern hemisphere) during the Hindu month of Kartik. The time frame is usually around mid-October and ends in mid-November. Typically Diwali occurs on the darkest day of the lunar month, which is the day of the new moon. Since the main celebration of Diwali takes place when the sky is the darkest, it’s a beautiful experience to see all of the candles and diyas lit through the homes and the streets, and sometimes you may see them floating on lakes and rivers! It’s also a perfect time to watch the fireworks light up the dark sky with vibrant colors. 

Another central theme of Diwali is the togetherness of family. Families put on their best new clothes and gather together to eat special foods. The meal is usually extravagant, with unique dishes and sweets. Some common foods people eat during Diwali are Samosas, Masala Peanuts, Dry Fruits, Sandesh, and many more.

How Diwali Fest Came To Southlake, Texas

Southlake, Texas resident, Kush Rao, had an idea to share his fond childhood memories of the holiday with his community. Originally from Hyderabad, India, he grew up experiencing the beautiful light displays, delicious Gulab Jamun (a decadent Indian dessert), and fireworks displays that were often a large part of India’s biggest holiday. In addition to the holiday festivities, he remembers the feeling of oneness with family and extended family. 

So, one crisp autumn evening in October 2017, the Shady Oakes homeowners decided to bring the neighborhood together to celebrate Diwali. Many of those residents regularly celebrated Diwali, but they decided to organize something larger for the whole community. They each pulled together, taking on different tasks, and opened it to the public with more than 250 people in attendance. It was such a success that word spread and ultimately led to the first annual Diwali Fest in 2018.

Diwali Fest’s Growth Through The Years

As Kush and the group of volunteers from the neighborhood discussed plans for the following year’s Diwali celebrations, they knew that inviting more people to participate and providing a larger stage to showcase the activities would increase the message of togetherness. They wanted to bring their message from Shady Oakes to the larger community. The group took their ideas to the mayor and city council members, who were enthusiastic about their plans. 

With the city’s support, the group planned the November 2018 event with nearly 200 volunteers helping. About 2,000 people attended the Diwali Fest that year. Diwali Fest 2019 did not disappoint, with even more dazzling lights, brighter lights, Indian dance performances, and more of a concert feel. Live Indian food cooking demos, a fashion show, and a marketplace showcasing local artisans selling casual and traditional clothing and ethnic jewelry brought even more interactive fun to the celebration. 

Diwali Fest looked a little different in 2020 due to the pandemic. The decision was made to bring Diwali Fest to a virtual platform for health and safety measures. But that’s not all! The celebrations continued with a colorful fireworks display at Bicentennial Park in Southlake. After all, Diwali Fest is a festival of lights!

Last year’s Diwali Fest 2021 was a breath of fresh air as the celebration came back to light up the city of Southlake! The night included an extensive lineup of Indian cuisine and food vendors, arts and crafts, clothing and jewelry displays, cultural performances, and an open dance floor that attendees danced on throughout the evening. And, of course, the beautiful fireworks display made a comeback for all to enjoy. 

Diwali Fest’s Impact On The Southlake, Texas Community

Perhaps one of the biggest blessings that Diwali Fest has brought to the Southlake community is the volunteer programs and inspiring a new generation of leaders. The Southlake Foundation was founded in 2019 by Kush Rao and the other volunteers that came by his side to make his Diwali Fest dreams come true. The Southlake Foundation uses volunteer work to help the community come together and help those in need. 

The Southlake Foundation hosts monthly events known as “Thank You Southlake,” which holds appreciation lunches for the City of Southlake and Carroll ISD employees. They also host educational webinars, participate in road cleaning, and hold candidate forums for the City of Southlake and CISD elections. This past April, Southlake Foundation donated more than $5,000 to the Carroll Education Foundation. The money was raised from signups from their United We Run event at Southlake’s Bicentennial Retail Plaza. That event brought out nearly 1,000 people from the community. It will most likely become another annual event for Southlake Foundation to bring the community together. 

The organization also created the Southlake Foundation Student Leadership Program (SFSLP), which introduces enrichment opportunities for the youth of Southlake to become self-service-minded. This program aims to motivate and support young leaders to build a socially aware society through civic engagement and early involvement in their field of interest. The program intends to inspire student leaders to become problem solvers, decision-makers, and future leaders in the community. 

The program also enables students to interact with others in a professional setting and to work as a team toward a common goal. They will learn to assess and recognize the abilities of others but also positively influence them. The students in this program will mentor the younger students, as well. 

The student leadership teams volunteer for GRACE’s Feed Our Kids and Groceries Giveaway programs. The foundation volunteers also work at other community events, including Art in the Square, Celebrate Southlake, and Octoberfest. In addition to Diwali Fest, the Southlake Foundation also hosts the 5K Fun Color Walk/Run, which is also free for anyone to attend. This event includes food trucks, music, and a group color throw. The 5K Fun Color Walk/Run is a time to celebrate the arrival of spring and the end of winter.

The Southlake Foundation is truly impacting the community of Southlake and surrounding DFW through its volunteer and leadership programs and by providing these fun events that bring the community together, celebrating diversity and togetherness. Kush Rao has been so influential and appreciated that he was named Southlake Chamber’s 2022 Citizen of the Year

In Closing

I hope you will join us at Diwali Fest this year! Come and experience the sights, smells, and flavors of Indian cuisine, dance performances, fireworks, clothing and jewelry exhibits, a fashion show, and so much more! There will be kids' activities and crafts, photo booths, and an open dance floor for everyone to dance the night away!

For sponsorship opportunities, you may email your inquiries to [email protected].

Work With Us

Etiam non quam lacus suspendisse faucibus interdum. Orci ac auctor augue mauris augue neque. Bibendum at varius vel pharetra. Viverra orci sagittis eu volutpat. Platea dictumst vestibulum rhoncus est pellentesque elit ullamcorper.

Follow Us on Instagram