Western Sydney Wanderers players were joined by over 25,000 attendees from across Australia at Parramatta Park on Sunday 19th October to celebrate the 16th annual Deepavali Fair 2014.Deepavali Fair is Australia’s largest celebration of the traditional festival of lights marked this week across the world and Western Sydney Wanderers were represented by Foxtel National Youth League players Shayne D'Cunha, Richard Darko and Keanu Baccus.
Festival organizer Ashwani Sharma said "Deepavali means rows of lights, and the festival symbolises the victory of light over darkness and good over evil,"
"The Hindu Council has been celebrating the festival of lights for the past 15 years and we're glad that the Western Sydney Wanderers could join us this year to share the richness of Indian culture."
"It was also very exciting for our community to meet Wanderers youth team rising star Shayne D'Cunha who was born in Mumbai." added Mr Sharma.
VIPs in attendance included Liberal Senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells, NSW Opposition leader Mr John Robertson, Member for Parramatta Dr Geoffrey Lee, Labor Senator Lisa Singh, Federal MP from Berowra Mr Phillip Ruddock and Mr Ram Madhav who represented Indian Prime Minister Mr Narendra Modi.
Over 40 groups and 470 performers entertained the crowd on the day contemporary dance including Expression, Lotus Dance School , Nachle Dance School, NIPA, Nep Indo Fusion, Orioz Inc, Rooh Punjab Di, CK Performing Arts, AHMA, Meenaxi’s Dance Group, Geetanjali School of Performing Arts, IndOz Rhythms, Shiamak Australia, Punjabi Sangeet Centre, Ministry of Bhangra and Shen Yun Performing Arts.
Other highlights of the festival included a Deepavali theme-based fashion show, food stalls, a rangoli (floor pattern art) competition and a spectacular fireworks display, which was preceded by the traditional burning of the effigy of the Hindu demon king Ravaan.