Flavors of India to spice up Downtown Park

The Flavors of India festival is a cultural bridge here on the Eastside, and Artistic Director Latha Sambamurti says this year people are invited to dance across it at Bellevue Downtown Park.

"When audience members come, they just forget what country they're from," she says.

The third annual Flavors of India, organized by the Vedic Cultural Center of Sammamish in partnership with the city of Bellevue, includes a full weekend of events starting Saturday, Aug. 30. The festival is made possible through grants from the city's arts commission.

"It is an awesome relationship, and I have to really thank the city of Bellevue for our cordial relationship and all their work with the Vedic Cultural Center," Sambamurti says.

The newest addition to the festival is a dance contest to coincide with Saturday's main event, a Bollywood dance party. DJ Prashant not only will lay down beats starting 6 p.m. Saturday, but also teach dance moves.

"He's not just a DJ, but a dancer and a singer," Sambamurti says. "They'll be teaching the Bollywood moves to the audience members there," with the grand prize being an air balloon ride for two.

Other attractions include yoga demonstrations, art and cultural displays, children's activities like Indian puppet making, various stage performances and a free food for all, prepared fresh onsite. Sunday's main stage event will be a live concert by the Yoginis Indian Jazz Project, a fusion band of Indian classical, American jazz and Latin and Caribbean rhythms.

Sambamurti said it's not just the Indian community, but many Americans who have embraced the culture who will be displaying their artistic skills."Flavors of India is not just an ethnic festival for the Indian community. I feel it's a festival for all of the community," she says. "I always consider festivals are the culture bridges for a community."

To learn more about Flavors of India and its schedule of events, go to


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