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Diwali SA, a celebration of India, will illuminate Hemisfair on Saturday

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Dancer at Diwali

The beauty of India will illuminate Hemisfair on Saturday. It’s the Diwali Festival of Lights, the celebration with its roots deep in India.

Kausi Subramanium produces it.

“It will be at Hemisfair as well as a portion of it will be at the Arneson River Theater as well,” Subramanium said. “We start the evening at about 5 p.m. at the Arneson, with classical Indian dancing, followed by the River Parade at 6.”

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Diwali river parade

That parade will celebrate India's many cultures.

“We will have the folk dances of India presentation, and we will be doing the film industry dances, and of course we still have the DJs, and we will have fireworks,” she said.

San Antonians who attend each year enjoy the sounds, henna tattoos, clothing, food and dances of India’s 12 states. This year, the organizers have they’ve added a new twist.

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Diya ceremony at Arneson River Theater

“It’s the Diwali maze illumination. It’s going to be an interactive experience where people can walk through this lit up maze,” Subramanium said.

There will be plenty of food too.

“We will have 10 or 12 food vendors selling foods from different parts of India,” she said. “As you probably know, the food from one state is vastly different from what you may get from another state in India.”

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crowd dances to Bollywood music

While the festival’s attributes range widely, its theme is consistent.

“We celebrate a very universal theme that everyone can relate to, and that is the victory of good over evil,” she said. “The emergence of light over darkness, as well as knowledge over ignorance. These are all universal themes that everyone can relate to.”

Weather for the free event should be just about perfect — mid 70s during the day and high to mid-sixties at night.

Texas Public Radio is supported by contributors to the Arts & Culture News Desk including The Guillermo Nicolas & Jim Foster Art Fund, Patricia Pratchett, and the V.H. McNutt Memorial Foundation.

Jack Morgan can be reached at jack@tpr.org and on Twitter at @JackMorganii