New features of Festival of Light: Diwali Oct. 18

Festival of Light: Diwali is set for 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 18 and with it comes some new features that will add some zest.

Serving the food this year will be a team of Rotarians led by former Mission Coun. Jim Hinds and high school leadership volunteers led by MCSS settlement assistant manager Saba Alam.  Food will be cooked by an Abbotsford Gurdwara and the food is provided by Mission Save On Foods.  1,000 bottles of water have been donated by Abbotsford Costco.  An anonymous donor is purchasing the tasty samosas for the event.

Mission Punjabi Culture Club is providing sweets.  Food is free to the public.

Newest sponsor this year is Sandhu and Sran Mortgages, and they are welcomed with the lead sponsors Swing Optical, Mission Arts Council, Province of B.C., District of Mission, the University of the Fraser Valley and Mission Save On Foods.

An earlier story on the planning (and sponsors) of Diwali for 2019 can be found HERE.

Media sponsors What’s On! Mission, Punjabi Patrika, Mission Record and Abbotsford News will be supporting promotion of the event and a highway billboard promoting the event will be erected after Sept. 28 between Mission and Abbotsford, northbound, paid for by event co-emcee Satti Grewal of Swing Optical.  Also co-emceeing is Abbotsford Coun. Kelly Chahal.

New to the entertainment this year, and to add to the multicultural flair of the event is Vancouver’s VanCity Lion Dance team of 12 performers with two lions and its own instrumental squad funded by Mission Arts Council.

Fiddle senstation Jennie Bice and instrument guru Boris of Mission Folk Music Festival fame return to the stage with their fusion, as will Dasmesh Punjabi School, Learning Stars Arts Academy, Garba Dancers, Abbotsford Arts Academy with its team of 70 performers, Khalsa School and the new Mission Punjabi Cultural Club performers who will close out the event after 8 p.m. on Oct. 18.

Fresh to our Diwali stage will be Inspire Me Fitness, with its specially-trained Bollywood performers who are offering the best six minutes Mission will ever see in this regard.

Mission Farmers Market and Telus PureFibre will be among the 25 participants in the Diwali marketplace, and look for new commercial entries from purse sellers to craft creators.

Rick Rake, chair of the Festival of Light: Diwali organizing team is pleased with the community support for the event which had humble beginnings 12 years ago in a Mission classroom.

Mission Rotary will also be collecting non-perishable food donations for MCSS Food Centre and Christmas Bureau – Wish Campaign during the Diwali festivities.

Talented Mission photographer Bob Friesen is on the Diwali committee this year.  Look for his spectacular imagery as he documents the special celebration.

Remember admission to Diwali is free.  Come enjoy the rich culture we enjoy in the community.