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Holi colors Bellevue
Bellevue Downtown Park will be bursting with colors and good cheer Saturday during CRY Seattle's sixth annual Holi festival and fundraiser to aid children in India.
A Hindu festival of colors and love, Child Rights and You Seattle hosts the annual Holi event here to raise awareness about its projects, most of them in India but some in the U.S., while also celebrating one of the biggest and most well-known holidays in Indian culture.
More than 800 people joined in at last year's celebration in Bellevue, where participants are given a pack of dry, organic paint with their tickets — more can be purchased — and spend hours covering themselves, loved ones and strangers in it.
"This year on our Facebook page we have 550 people coming," said Dheeraj Mehta, a CRY Seattle volunteer. "So, I'm expecting at least 800 people again this year. … It's a very friendly event, so anyone can join in at any time. Even if you don't buy any colors, you're still welcome to join everybody else."
The event runs noon to 4 p.m. Saturday and tickets are $15, with children under 12 getting in free. There will be a Bollywood DJ on hand, as well as food for purchase.
Participants are encouraged to dress in white, said Mehta, because it represents how everyone is the same when they come in to the event, and then leave the same — covered in multi-colored paints.
"This is actually a good reason to step out and celebrate the sunshine and dance to the Bollywood beats," he said. "Regardless of who you are, we embrace all."
CRY Seattle hopes to raise $130,000 for its four projects, which involve reproductive and other health issues, child rights, education, agricultural issues like droughts and floods and tribal assistance. To make a donation, click here.