ISKCON-NY Hosts 46th Annual Float Festival and Jagannatha Parade on 5th Avenue

A 12-meter-tall performance of Lord Jagannatha was the highlight of the 46th annual ISKCON float festival on June 13, 2021 and the Jagannatha Parade on Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue. Photo: Courtesy of ISKCON.

The Tristate Hare Krishna community of New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut wrapped up its annual three-day float festival and Jagannatha Parade on Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue on June 13, 2021. It was on June 46, 2021.e Annual float festival organized by the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON).

A 40 foot tall depiction of Lord Jagannatha, colorful Rathayatra carts, hand drawn by worshipers and surrounded by thousands of worshipers singing and dancing marched down the street.

In a press release, organizers said it was “almost (like) to float in the fresh air and regain the fun of life after a most uncertain year.”

The organizers estimated that around seven thousand people attended the event inaugurated by famous architect Abhay Wadhwa, assisted by Pandit Nikhil Trivedi.

Dance with abandon at the 46th Annual Float Festival and Jagannatha Parade on Fifth Avenue, Manhattan on June 13, 2021. Photo: Courtesy of ISKCON

Special efforts were made to ensure that all participants followed current New York City Covid-19 safety guidelines to keep everyone safe, according to the press release.

The Ratha Yatra started at noon on June 13, at West 45th Street and 5th Avenue, and ended in Washington Square Park where it joined the “Festival of India” for an afternoon of free vegetarian food, stage performances of Indian classical dances, Krishna conscious dramas performed by a theater troupe and several booths on reincarnation, meditation, yoga, etc.

The 46th annual float festival organized by the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) ended at Washington Square Park in New York on June 13, 2021 where numerous booths were set up. Photo: Courtesy of ISKCON

ISKCON Founder Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada first arrived in New York from India in September 1965 to spread the teachings of Lord Krishna to the Western world in order to fulfill his spiritual master’s order to spread the Vaishnava teachings in the English-speaking world. Prabhupada arrived in America with just $ 7 and a trunk of his translations and commentaries on ancient Sanskrit texts, the Bhagavata Purana, ISKCON said in its press release.

On July 13, 1966, he incorporated his fledgling community under the name of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness.

Over the past 50 years, ISKCON has grown into a global community of over 700 great temples, over 150 vegetarian restaurants, and 110 eco farms and villages. Affiliate Bhaktivedanta Book Trust has sold 556 million Krishna consciousness books and magazines, and Hare Krishna Food Relief programs provide free vegetarian lunch to 1.2 million school children in India every day through its midday meal in affiliation with the Indian government, the press release said.

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