On Saturday, folks of diverse age groups and national origins gathered together for four hours of pure fun, throwing color powders at one another, dancing and eating at Redmond City Hall.
Mayor John Marchione launched the play of colors with a countdown at 1 p.m., when a splash of bright colors went up in the air and upon folks at the festival.
Other guests who announced countdowns for color plays included Sen. Andy Hill of the 45th Legislative District, Seattle Center Managing Artistic Director Steve Sneed, City of Redmond arts administrator Joshua Heim, Redmond Arts Commission Chair Rob Leavitt and Rep. Zack Hudgins of the 11th Legislative District.
Rep. Ross Hunter of the 48th District also attended, saying the energy was infectious, to the point of attracting passers-by and trail users nearby to join the festivities.
“Best. Party. Ever. The Indian festival of Holi was held at Redmond City Hall…I’d guess there were 800 people there covered in color dyes, dancing and having a great time…The energy was infectious,” Hunter wrote on his Facebook page.
Latha Sambamurti, the festival’s artistic director, said, “Through this festival, we created a common gathering context for the community to have fun, like how folks in India have been doing for ages. We were pleased to attract folks from other cities like Seattle and Sammamish. We boosted the participatory aspect through dance contests and color contests.”
The festival began with stage entertainment, led and provided by Ayush Attri Sharma, a 16-year old boy from Sammamish, who sang in six different genres, in seven languages. His singing was followed by three hours of music and dance entertainment hosted by DJ Vinit Jain. The festival also featured dance contests and color contests, with prize winners.
The Festival of Color was staged by a partnership between the City of Redmond and Vedic Cultural Center (VCC), which provided volunteers, working under the guidance of their president Harry Terhanian for the event.