Good morning readers:
Here are some of the Sunshine State communities celebrating the Festival of Lights.
MIAMI: The Indian Regional and Cultural Center will hold its Diwali festivities from noon to 10 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 18, at Miami-Dade County Fair & Expo (Arnold Hall), 10901 Coral Way, Miami. The program will include Bollywood, folk, classical music and dance, IRCC Children Show, and dance competitions. Other attractions are food, fashion, jewelry, arts and crafts, henna, yoga, kids zone and raffle prizes. For information, call (954) 543-1539, e-mail email@example.com or visit http://www.irccflorida.com
LAUDERHILL: Also, the seventh annual Divali Nagar will be held from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Oct. 17-18 at the Central Broward Regional Park, 3700 N.W. 11th Place, Lauderhill. Attractions are vendor booths and, of course, entertainment. For information, call (954) 846-9895, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or visit http://www.divalinagar.us
PALM BEACH GARDENS: And the Palm Beach India Association will celebrate Diwali at 6 p.m. on Oct. 25 at Palm Beach Gardens High School, 4245 Holly Drive, Palm Beach Gardens. There will be a dinner and cultural program. Tickets are $15 in advance (on Navratri nights or before Oct. 15 from committee members) or $25 at gate. Participating students are free. For information, e-mail email@example.com or visit http://www.gopbia.com/
Diwali-Lakshmi Pujan will be held from 6 p.m. on Oct. 23 by the Hindu Society of Central Florida (1994 Lake Drive) in Casselberry. Annkut will be on Oct. 25. For information, call (407) 699-5277, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit http://www.hindutempleorlando.org
The Association of Asian Cultural Festivals will present its 17th annual free Diwali Mela from 4 p.m. on Oct. 4 at Disney Amphitheater at Lake Eola, 101 Rosalind Ave., Orlando. For more information, call Lallman Persaud at (407) 202-2161 or e-mail email@example.com
Shri Shivdham Hindu Temple will celebrate Dipawali on Oct. 23 and Annkoot on Oct. 26. Devotees who wish to contribute in making dishes can call the temple at (407) 380-2661, Savitri at (407) 924-8799 or visit http://www.shivtemple.net
Maa Durga Sri Sai Baba Temple will celebrate Dhan Trayodashi on Oct. 21, New Year on Oct. 24 and hold Deepawali celebrations on Oct. 25. The temple is at 11414 S. Apopka Vineland Road, Orlando. For information, call (407) 574-8044 or visit http://www.durgasaitemple.org
The Orlando Marathi Mandal will be celebrating Deepawali Dhamaka on Nov. 8 at the Hindu Society of Central Florida community hall (1994 Lake Drive) in Casselberry. For information, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or visit http://www.orlandomarathi.com
Diwali-Annakut will be held Oct. 23-25 at Swaminarayan Mandir, 1325 W. Oakridge Road, Orlando. For information, email Jitubhai Patel at email@example.com or call (407) 460-2741.
The Rajasthani Association of Tampa Bay will hold its Dipawali celebration on Oct. 17 from 6 to 10 p.m. For venue and other details, call Rashmi Jakhotia at (813) 962-4172.
The Gujarati Samaj of Tampa Bay annual Diwali Dinner, Entertainment and Executive Committee Elections will be held on Sunday, Oct. 26, from 5:30 p.m. at India Cultural Center, 5511 Lynn Road, Tampa. Elections will continue till 8 p.m. The event is free to members; non-members pay $15, non-member seniors $10. For information, call Jyoti Gandhi at (727) 534-3767, Sudhir Shah at (727) 686-7424 or visit http://www.gujaratisamaj.org
BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir will celebrate Diwali and Annakut on Oct. 25 from 1 p.m. (aarti every hour). There will be fireworks at night. BAPS is at 9556 E. Fowler Ave. in Thonotosassa. For details, call (813) 986-5473.
Ambaji Mandir at 10991 58th St., in Pinellas Park, will hold Dhanteras MahaLaxmi Pujan at 6 p.m. on Oct. 21. Diwali Puja will be at 6 p.m. on Oct. 23. New Year Annakut will be at 6 p.m. on Oct. 24. For more information, call the mandir at (727) 388-6685 or visit http://www.ambajimandir.org
Laxmi Narayan Mandir, 4615 George Road, Tampa, will hold Dhanteras MahaLaxmi Pujan on Oct. 21. Diwali Puja will be Oct. 23. And New Year Annakut will be on Oct. 24. For information, call (813) 444-9786 or visit http://www.hindutempleoftampa.org
And the Hindu Temple of Florida will have Dhanlaxmi puja at 7 p.m. on Oct. 21 and celebrate Deepawali with a cultural program from 3 p.m. on Oct. 25. For more information, call (813) 962-6890 or visit http://www.htflt.org
The Sanatan Mandir in Tampa will hold Dhun Puja 7-8 p.m. on Oct. 21 and Deepawali on Oct. 23. Annakut will be celebrated on Oct. 24. The mandir is at 311 E. Palm Ave. For information, call (813) 221-4482 or visit http://www.ourmandir.org
Maayboli Melawa (Maharashtra Mandal) of Tampa Bay will celebrate Diwali on Nov. 1 at Hindu Temple, 5509 Lynn Road, Tampa. For more information, e-mail Vrushali Pendharkar at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit http://www.MMTBUSA.org
Shri Saraswati Devi Mandir at 16220 Livingston Ave., Tampa, will hold Diwali celebrations at 7 p.m. on Oct. 21. For information, call Pandit Purnanan Sharma at (813) 486-8681.
Also, Shree Raam Mandir will hold its third annual Diwali celebration from 7 to 10 p.m. on Oct. 18. The temple is at 7411 E. Comanche Ave., Tampa. For information, call Nick Ramlal at (813) 334-0443, Angela Puchoon at (813) 265-3268 or e-mail email@example.com
DAYTONA BEACH/ORMOND BEACH
The Indian Cultural Society of Daytona will celebrate Diwali at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 25, at Hilton Daytona Beach Resort (South Tower), 100 N. Atlantic Ave., Daytona Beach. There will be performances by local kids, teens and adults. For tickets, call Sangeeta Bhoola at (386) 527-0855, Sejal Desai at (386) 212-4057, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or visit http://www.icsdaytona.com
The Charotar Patidar Samaj of Florida will hold its sixth annual Diwali Dinner & Dance on Nov. 8 from 6 p.m. at The Trinkle Center, 1206 N. Park Road, Plant City. Family pass is $50. For information, call Jayesh Patel at (407) 460-2020, Kamal Patel at (863) 670-1045 or visit http://www.patelpower.net
Shree Swaminarayan Temple ISSO, 2793 New Tampa Highway, Lakeland, will hold a free Diwali family fun day 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Oct. 18. Activities include entertainment, carnival games, bounce houses, prizes, face painting, magician, water games, sports activities, and more. Lunch and dinner to be provided. On Oct. 24, there’s a New Year’s Aarti at 6 a.m., 7:30 a.m., 10:30 a.m., 7 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. New Year’s Ankut Aarti will be at noon followed by mahaprasad. For information, call (863) 687-4776 or click on http://www.issofl.com
Annakut Mahotsav will be celebrated on Oct. 26 at Pushtidham (Haveli of Florida), 14080 S.W. 20th Ave. Road, in Ocala. For details, call (973) 460-5936 or Raj Kamdar at (352) 568-5729.
Shirdi Sai Florida Center, 4707 S. Pleasant Grove Road, Inverness, will hold a Dhanteras Pooja on Oct. 20. Naraka Chaturdasi will be on Oct. 22 and Dipawali on Oct. 24. The center is at 4707 S. Pleasant Grove Road, Inverness. For information, visit http://www.shirdiusa.com or call (352) 860-2181.
The Bhartiya Samaj of Central Florida will celebrate Diwali at 6 p.m. on Oct. 26 at Bartow Civic Center, 2250 S. Floral Ave., Bartow. For more information, call Subhash S. Patel at (863) 648-0294 or visit http://www.bscfl.com
The Indian Student Association of University of Florida will hold its Diwali show on Nov. 9 at Curtis M. Phillips Center, 3201 Hull Road, Gainesville. Doors open at 6:30. For more information or to sign up to perform, contact Dilan Nayee at (407) 666-1046 or email email@example.com
Gujarati Samaj of Gatorland will hold a Diwali Night from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Oct. 26 at Senior Recreation Center, 5701 N.W. 34th St., Gainesville. A live band from India will perform. Dinner will be catered. For more details, email firstname.lastname@example.org
The Indian Association of the Space Coast will hold Diwali and annual dinner Saturday, Nov. 1, at Melbourne Auditorium, 625 E. Hibiscus Blvd. For more information, call (321) 302-1870 or visit http://www.iascbrevard.com
The Gujarati Samaj of North East Florida will celebrate Diwali on Saturday, Oct. 18, at Morocco Shine Center Auditorium, 3800 Saint Johns Bluff Road S., Jacksonville. A cultural program will be held from 5 to 8:30 p.m. followed by dinner. For information, call Bakulesh Patel at (904) 813-9616, Bipin Patel at (904) 260-7675, e-mail email@example.com or visit http://www.gsnef.org
Also, The Indian Cultural Society of Jacksonville will hold its Diwali from 3 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 9, at the University of North Florida Arena, 11852 University of North Florida Drive. There will be food, dance and music. For details, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or visit http://www.jaxics.org
NITISH S. RELE