WHEN: Saturday, March 19, 2022. The Parade begins at 10:30 AM at the Plaza and returns there by 12 PM. At 1 PM there will be a two-hour procession down St. George Street without the Chariot. Then at 3 PM, the cultural dance & music program begins. The free food will be served out all day from 11 AM onwards. The festival continues until 5 PM
WHERE: The Plaza de la Constitucion at St. George Street and Cathedral Place.
WHO: All are welcome. Free admission. Wholesome fun for the entire family.
Saturday, March 19, 2022. The Festival of the Chariots & Ratha Yatra Parade will take place at the main plaza in St. Augustine from 10:30 AM to 5 PM.
There will be lots of family-friendly activities and entertainment: Live music, a play, classical Indian dance, books, but the big draw is the delicious vegetarian food. There will be a sumptuous feast served free of charge to all, starting at noon.
The procession route is about 2 miles long and can be easily walked by all age groups. It begins at 10:30 AM at the Plaza and returns to the same location. The parade will move in a leisurely fashion, stopping here and there along the route, giving way to song and dance. The procession’s unique feature is a huge chariot with a blue, red, and yellow canopy decorated with swans, lotus flowers, flags, Hanuman, and a brass chakra on top. This chariot has two very thick ropes attached to it that are over one hundred feet long. These ropes are pulled by the parade-goers, propelling the chariot along the parade route. Riding on the Chariot are the beautiful Deities of Jagannath, Baladeva, and Subhadra, decorated with stunning silk outfits & real flowers. It’s a vision from another world. Accompanying the procession is lively Indian music and dancing, backed by double-headed mrdanga drums & karatala hand cymbals. It’s an ecstatic, exciting event.
The festival is sponsored by ISKCON Alachua, the International Society for Krishna Consciousness whose Founder/Acharya, His Divine Grace AC Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, came to America from India over fifty years ago and introduced the timeless tradition of the Festival of the Chariot (called Ratha Yatra in India). Since the ’60s this festival has been held yearly in over 100 major cities in the United States, Canada, and all over the world. Nine Ratha Yatras have held yearly in the state of Florida: Clearwater, Jacksonville Beach, Tallahassee, UCF Orlando, Tampa, UF Gainesville, Daytona Beach, Miami & St. Augustine.
All are warmly invited to attend this joyous, colorful festival, free of charge. Take advantage of a rare chance to experience the vibrancy of India, right here in Florida. Questions? Call: Bhadra das at 352 316-4560 or Bhadradas@gmail.com.
Please check out our website: http://festivalofchariots.org
May 15, 2022
Sunanda Das, Temple of the Vedic Planetarium