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29th Annual Festival of the Chariots To Roll Sunday: will move though Santa Monica to Venice Beach

The 29th Annual Festival of the Chariots will take place on Sunday, August 7.

Accompanied by dancers, singers and musicians, the three 50-foot tall chariots, which are pulled by hand, will leave the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium at 10 a.m. and roll south on Main Street to Rose Avenue, go west on Rose to Ocean Front Walk, and then south on Ocean Front Walk to Windward.

There, the festival will raise its tents and set up stages and exhibits for a celebration of Indian culture.

On the afternoon’s program are entertainment on three stages, children’s games and activities; food and gift booths; displays of Indian art, culture and spirituality; and a free feast for 20,000 people.

Some of the premier artists in Indian dance and music will appear on the main stage, including Viji Prakash and the Shakti Dance Company. Also scheduled is a dramatic performance based on the story and philosophy of Bhagavad-Gita.

The festival is free and all are welcome. About 50,000 people attended last year’s festival.The Festival of the Chariots is based on an ancient festival that takes place annually in the Indian holy town of Jagannatha Puri and attracts pilgrims second only in number to Kumbha Mela, arguably the largest gathering on earth.

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