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!!! Voted Best Festival in Howard County !!!


When and where is the festival?

The Festival of India – Diwali Mela is a 2 day festival on September 21st & 22nd, 2024 inside the MAIN EXHIBITION HALL - a 40,000 sq. ft. airconditioned hall at:


         2210 Fairgrounds Rd

         West Friendship, MD  21797


DAY 1 - September 21, 2024

DAY 2 - September 22, 2024

What is the theme of the Festival of India- Diwali Mela?
The theme of this year's Festival is the root of Indian culture, thought, and philosophy -  "ATHITHI DEVO BHAVA" - the guest is aking to God. Exhibiting the core belief of the all-embracing Indian culture, the Festival of India embodies the cultural essence of India! Our doors have always been open to all and we welcome people from all cultures to come and explore the vibrant Indian Culture! India has always been known for its customs of hospitality and the country stands out for the warmth in its interactions and the joy in its festivities. India’s vibrant culture is an amalgamation of religions, festivals, food, art, crafts, dance, music, and much more. The festival will bring together hundreds of performers from diverse regions on one stage, showcasing our rich cultural diversity.

What is the objective of the Festival of India- Diwali Mela?
We believe that arts and culture play a central role in the development and growth of healthy individuals and thriving communities. The Festival provides cultural experiences for people of all backgrounds, enhances residents’ lives, and strengthens the region’s sense of cohesion and identity. Our communities are stronger when we Integrate, Appreciate, and Reciprocate.

Maryland has been home to Indian Americans for decades retaining their unique cultural identity while assimilating the ethos of America. The next-generation Americans of Indian descent are the brand ambassadors of this unique cultural mix. The annual Festival of India aims to bring the different communities in Howard and surrounding Counties together to foster a greater understanding of the Indian culture – its customs, traditions, attire, entertainment, and cuisine. Come and be a part of this historic event and enjoy the rich and vibrant Indian culture in this two-day celebration.

Does it cost anything?

We suggest a $10 donation (per family) for admission but please feel free to donate what you are able.

Note: These donations help offset the cost of hosting a festival of this magnitude – these include facility rental, booth rentals, DJ, speakers, stage, lighting, equipment, permits, security, entertainers, awards, personnel, and much more. Without these, the festival would not be possible. Thank you for your donation.


How do I get a vendor booth at the Festival of India - Diwali Mela?

Send an email to events@ICAHoward.Org.

How do I perform at the Festival of India – Diwali Mela?
If you feel you’ve got the talent to impress the audience through singing, instrumentals, dance, or any other performing arts, you can email your audition (or a YouTube link) to The deadline to submit is July 31, 2024. If you are selected, we will reach out to you.

Can spectators participate in the dance?

Yes! Everyone is welcome to dance in the interactive dance! Listen for the MC’s announcement. Please come and join the dancers near the stage and learn some traditional Indian dance steps, such as Garba, Bhangra, and Bollywood!

Can I take pictures?

It is permissible to take pictures during much of the festival. However, please do not take pictures of children unless the parents have given permission. If you are from the media, please contact us via email or phone. We welcome media partners.

Is there any public transport?

There is no public transport. Please plan accordingly.

Where should I park?

There is ample parking space at the Fairgrounds, and you can park in any of the open parking spaces. 

What provisions will you have for people with disabilities?

We aim to make this event as accessible as possible for people of all abilities. The Main Exhibition Hall of Howard County Fairgrounds and the bathrooms are wheelchair accessible.

What kind of food vendors be there?

The food vendors will serve a variety of Indian cuisine. There will be food from all parts of India – North, South, East and West. We expect to have a tandoor and grill and some items like Chicken Tikka, Bhatoora, Dosa etc. will be made on-site among other items.

Will there be seating?

Chairs around the perimeter of the stage are reserved for the sponsors, special guests, artists, and the ICA team. All other areas are open seating. Do not sit around the speakers and allow at least 10 feet of space. Please be aware when finding your place to sit, to avoid obstructing the dancer’s pathway or standing in front of someone who is preparing to dance or sing. Volunteers will be available for guidance. Seating is first come, first served. 

Is this a family-friendly event?

Yes, we invite everyone to attend this family-friendly event!

This two-day long, family-friendly event welcomes all to participate, share experiences, make connections, and learn more about the traditions, culture, history, and contemporary topics related to the Indian American community in Howard County, Maryland, and the USA. 

Throughout the day there will be several children's activities and interactive experiences - balloons, face painting, and MAGIC SHOW!

What is your pet policy?

Only service animals are allowed and must always be on a leash.

How can I help?

Become a team member at Maryland’s largest cultural Festival of India! We can always use happy, energetic volunteers! Whether it’s assisting with choreography, or backstage, or mentoring children, or lending their time and efforts to make this event a reality, volunteers play a vital role in ICA’s mission of delivering a high-quality experience to every participant. There are many different opportunities to volunteer. Email events@icahoward.orgWe appreciate your community spirit.

If you attended in prior years and would like to contribute to the Festival of India, donations are accepted online. All proceeds generated at this event are invested back into the community to preserve the rich Indian Heritage - a culture that is known worldwide for its art, music, dances, and festivals. Thank you for your generous contribution.

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