The essence of India
Fifth annual IndiaFest Milwaukee returns Saturday to Humboldt Park

By TimeOut Staff

August 17, 2017


Submitted photo

IndiaFest Milwaukee will return Saturday at Humboldt Park.

MILWAUKEE - Vibrant traditional dress, authentic Indian cuisine, and classical to contemporary music and dance come together to celebrate Indian culture at the free IndiaFest Milwaukee, from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday. It all takes place in Humboldt Park, 3000 S. Howell Ave.

Over the past four years, the outdoor festival focused entirely on India has drawn 43,000 people, continually growing. More than 140 youth and adult volunteers have dedicated their time to the event and more than 1,700 participants have showcased their talents at the festival.

“There is no better way for families and friends to learn about Indian culture,” said Purnima Nath, founder, chairwoman and president of Spindle India Inc., a nonprofit organization that produces the event.

“Our goal is to weave India’s colorful cultural threads into the rich multicultural tapestry of American culture,” she said.

India has 29 states and seven union territories. Each has a unique combination of language, traditions, religion, clothing and history.

The daylong event opens with a welcome ceremony observing the 71st Independence Day of India.

Music and dance performances will illustrate various cultures in the Indian states. Musicians will use traditional and contemporary instruments to perform a variety of styles as well as a fusion of styles. The famous Bollywood singer and music producer Ali Pervez Mehdi along with his team will be the entertainment highlight.

In addition, Wisconsin Indian Singing Idol, a singing competition launched by Spindle India at the 2015 IndiaFest Milwaukee, will continue to recognize local talent.

Visitors may watch a glamour fashion show and see Indian dress up-close in displays of the Indian states. Eventgoers may also learn how to tie a turban or sari.

Some of the best restaurants and providers from the Milwaukee and Chicago areas will offer a variety of menu items.

Foods available range from dosas, similar to crepes or pancakes, to chaats, savory snacks often sold from food carts in India, to biriyanis, rice-based dishes with vegetables or chicken. Beer, other adult beverages and nonalcoholic beverages will also be available for purchase.

Additional vendors will offer unique products and services from colorful exotic arts, clothing and jewelry to temporary hand-painted henna designs.

For the flavor of the festival, visit