Dancers go through their paces during Diwali; Let’s Light Up Liberty Avenue, celebration at the intersection of Liberty Avenue and Lefferts Blvd. on Oct. 23. in Richmond Hill, Queens.
Photo by Tangerine Clarke

Dazzling lights, colorful motif, and a joyfulness cultural presentation, filled the intersection, of Liberty Avenue and Lefferts Boulevard in Richmond Hill, on Saturday, Oct. 23, to commemorate Diwali, ahead of the Nov. 4 observances date.

The festival of lights that generally symbolizes the victory of light over darkness, in the Hindus community, and celebrated across the world, came to Queens early, thanks to the Divya Joyoti Association, and Lakshmee Singh, organizer of the Annual Diwali Motorcade, and host of “Let’s Talk With Lakshmee” TV show, Abee Chunes Radio host, Roshan Shiwcharran, and many others, who put on a magnificent presentation with music, song, and dance, to showcase talented artists, like Ricki Jai, who excited the crowd of hundreds.

The bevy of bejeweled Diwali Queens led by VIDYHA LAKSHMI Goddess of Knowledge, portrayed by Reanna Arjune from the Durga Shiva Mandir Inc. was the highlight of the evening.

In addition to an opulent backdrop of glitter, eight young goddesses were on display in a pink lotus patch in front of the stage, that signified serenity and beauty.

Vijah Ramjattan of the United Madrassi Association praised Lakshmee Singh for her vision that commands the universe and her will to execute the vision that was first class.

Lakshmee Singh dances during the cultural presentation at the Let’s Light Up Liberty Avenue Diwali celebration, at the corner of Liberty Avenue and Lefferts Boulevard, Richmond Hill, Queens.Photo by Tangerine Clarke

“Your dedication to put on the best Diwali event for our community is clear and respected. Thank you for providing a platform for equity and inclusion in the community,” said Ramjattan.

“These eight Goddesses brought and reflected the energy you put into the Diwali: Let’s Light Up Liberty Avenue. May Goddess Lakshmi continue to be your guiding light and inspire you to continue to do what you love doing with lots of flawless health and strength,” he said.

It was the second year that the Annual Diwali Motorcade was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic and caused the festival to be limited in its celebration in order to follow the mandates.

However, the symbolism was evident, as strings of the colorful illuminated sign, Happy Diwali stretched over Liberty Avenue, under the themed, “Let’s Us Light Up Liberty Avenue”, a concept realized by the committee in 2020, to keep the spirit of the celebration alive.

“My heart is full! Thank you to everyone who assisted in Light Up Liberty Avenue for a Pre-Diwali celebration, a monumental moment for our Hindu Community to look up and see, HAPPY DIWALI signs throughout Liberty Avenue and to stop traffic in the busiest part of Liberty to make way for our Happy Diwali,” said Singh.

Romeo Hitlall, president of the Richmond Hill-South Ozone Park Lions Club, said he was proud of the celebration, noting that this was the first time that a long stretch of Liberty Avenue was blocked off for the Diwali celebration, and thanked organizers for the illuminated Happy Diwali sign that hung over the thoroughfare. He also shared that the festival will become a national holiday.

Set against the backdrop of Happy Diwali, tassa drumming, live musical entertainment and singers, brought the stage to life, and from where, Assembly Woman Jenifer Rajkumar, Judge Karen Gopee, District Leader Richard S. David, and many others paid tribute to the festival.

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