PCS Chicago participates in the 79th McDonald’s Thanksgiving day Parade on State street in Chicago

Chicago IL: The Punjabi Cultural Society of Chicago (PCS) kept up it’s long tradition of participating in the McDonald’s Thanksgiving Day Parade held on the day of Thanksgiving, Thursday November 22, 2012 on State Street downtown Chicago, luckily under an unseasonably fair weather sky and thousands watching and cheering in person. This was PCS’s 5th time in the parade highlighting Indian culture.

The parade was televised live on WGN TV Channel 9, WGN America, and also streamed live on internet for worldwide viewing from 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m, and also rebroadcast at 1 pm to 4 pm on CLTV on the same day where millions watched from home.

Celebrating its 79th year, the McDonald’s® Thanksgiving Parade is Chicago’s premier holiday event. PCS was a part of more than 100 spectacular contingents proudly marching the parade route North on State Street from Congress to Randolph Street inspired by a cheering crowd of thousands.

“PCS has been participating in this parade since 2005, it gives our Indian community a great exposure in the mainstream, and it shows our commitment to celebrate the American festivals,” said PCS President Baljit Singh Sidhu.

“The theme of the PCS decorated float and it’s contingent was an Indian/Punjabi wedding party (Baraat), which included the Bride and the groom in traditional Punjabi wedding dress, the baraatees in colorful festive Punjabi ethnic costumes, Punjabi Dhol, amplified Bhangra music and street dancing. It was a great exposure of our community in the mainstream, through a major TV channel coverage, where millions watched,” said Vick Singh the PCS parade coordinator.

“PCS’s participation in mainstream activities shows our solidarity with the American people,” said Rajinder Singh Mago, PCS board of governors.

“To be invited to participate in the significant and exciting happenings at the local and national level is an acknowledgement of the presence of diverse cultures, faiths, and ethnic communities that make up the vibrant and colorful fabric of America,” said K.P. Singh a Sikh American author, artist, engineer, town planner and community development activist of Indianapolis Indiana.

University of Illinois Chicago Bhangra, DePaul University, and Harripa Chicago Bhangra troupes showcased the energetic and happy Punjabi folk dance Bhangra in colorful costumes to thousands of cheering spectators lined up along the State Street parade route.

Mona Kaur and Manjeet Sungh Bhalla were the bride and groom, dressed up PCS officials and members the wedding party, Ryan Singh and Harman Singh Nagra played Punjabi Dhol (drum) along with Rishpal Singh Twin Beats DJ Punjabi music to keep the spectators involved and the bhangra performers warmed up in the morning lake Michigan weather. The float was decorated by Navjot Kaur of Silverleaf wedding decorations.

From the Asian American community of Chicago Chinese Americans and Filipino Americans also participated with their colorful floats.

Over 350,000 on-street spectators cheered along the parade route on the State street while an estimated 3.75 million at-home viewers watched on TV the PCS float and walking unit, Bhangra dancers, gigantic helium balloons, marching school bands, majestic Arabian equestrian units, fabulous specialty floats, spectacular performance groups, national celebrities and local TV personalities, in addition to Woody woodpecker, Bozo the clown and Santa Claus. The parade closing number was “Gangnam Style” transformed into “Chicago Style”.

The PCS participation was coordinated by Vick Singh, Baljit Singh Sidhu, Surinder Singh Sangha, Pardeep Singh Deol, Gurmit Singh Dhillon, Balwinder Singh Girn, Sunny Kular, Ronny Kular, Mohinderjit Singh Saini, and Rajinder Singh Mago with the help of many youth volunteers including Harleen Kaur Saini, Manpreet Kaur.

Photo credits: Gurmit Singh Dhillon, Sunny Kular, and Indermohan Singh Chhabra of Sikh TV.

The Chicago Festival Association (CFA), http://www.chicagofestivals.org/ a unique and exciting nonprofit organization in the city of Chicago, produced this McDonald’s® Thanksgiving Parade.

Punjabi Cultural Society of Chicago (P.C.S.) is a non-profit 501 (c) 3 organization promoting mainstream participation, good citizenship, community development, civic commitment and involvement, education, and preserving Punjabi Culture, language, sports and performing arts among its community members and also mainstream Americans in the Midwest and beyond. PCS caters to this need both by directly organizing events that bring community members together from all over the Midwest Region and by facilitating participation of its community members in mainstream activities.

Punjabi Cultural Society of Chicago
P. O. Box 1244, Palatine, IL. 60078
(847) 359-5PCS, Fax# (847) 359-1107
e-mail info@PCSChicago.org

Photographs and Press release by: Asian Media USA

Suresh Bodiwala
Asian Media USA
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