Festival of the Chariots, Bhakti Yoga Culture & Wellness Fest, Daytona Beach
WHAT: An Indian multi-cultural parade and festival will be celebrated with entertainment for the whole family. There will be live music, singing, classical dance, books, bazaar, and lots of free delicious vegetarian food. The Ratha Yatra Parade is the oldest known parade in the world.
WHEN & WHERE: Sunday, May 27, 2018. There is an inauguration ceremony at the Daytona Beach Bandshell located at 70 Boardwalk. The parade begins at 2:30 PM going North on the beach several blocks, then turns back South, returning to the Bandshell where the free feast and cultural festival take place from 5:30 to 8 PM.
WHO: All are welcome. Free admission. Wholesome fun for the entire family.
SPECIAL: VERY VISUAL event with colorful traditional costumes and flower decorations. Photography is permitted. Indian classical dance performances; kirtan mantra music; free food.
If you’ve ever dreamt of visiting colorful, exotic India, we have a treat for you. Get a taste of India without leaving Florida on Sunday, May 27, 2018. The Festival of the Chariots, Bhakti Yoga Culture & Wellness Fest, an Indian multi-cultural extravaganza, will take place starting at 2:30 PM at the Daytona Beach Bandshell located at 70 Boardwalk. A parade starts here and also ends at the same place, the Bandshell at 5 PM with free food and a cultural program from 5:30 to 8 PM.
There are lots of family-friendly activities and entertainment: live music, classical Indian dance, drama performance, face painting & henna, mantra meditation, bhakti yoga. But the big draw is the delicious vegetarian food. There will be a sumptuous feast served free of charge to all.
The procession route is about 2 miles long and can be easily walked by all age groups. The parade will move in a leisurely fashion, stopping here and there along the route, giving way to song and dance. The procession’s unique feature is a huge chariot with a blue, red and yellow canopy decorated with swans, lotus flowers, flags, Hanuman and a brass chakra on top. This chariot has two very thick ropes attached to it that are over one hundred feet long. These ropes are pulled by the parade-goers, propelling the chariot along the parade route. Riding on the Chariot are the beautiful Deities of Jagannath, Baladeva and Subhadra, decorated with stunning silk outfits & real flowers. It’s a vision from another world. Accompanying the procession is lively Indian music and dancing, backed by double-headed mrdanga drums & karatala hand cymbals. It’s an ecstatic, exciting event.
The festival is mainly sponsored by ISKCON Alachua, the International Society for Krishna Consciousness whose Founder/Acharya, His Divine Grace AC Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, came to America from India forty-five years ago and introduced the timeless tradition of the Festival of the Chariot (called Ratha Yatra in India). Since the 60’s this festival has been held yearly in over 50 major cities in the United States, Canada, and all over the world. Nine Ratha Yatras are held yearly in the state of Florida: Miami, Jacksonville Beach, Tallahassee, Orlando, Tampa, Gainesville, Daytona Beach, Clearwater Beach & St. Augustine.
Local sponsors of this festival include Kale Café, Ogle Law, LLC, PRM Hotel Group, Sacred Strength Healing Arts, Bhana Corp., the City of Daytona Beach. This same Rathyatra chariot and dancers won Best in their Category, and Best in Parade this year at the 2018 Tallahassee Spring Festival. All are warmly invited to attend this joyous, colorful festival, free of charge. Take advantage of a rare chance to experience the vibrancy of India, right here in Florida.