Some would look at this festival and scratch their heads and ask, why? But maybe because I am sorta 'in-the-loop' with at least some of the college aged kids (who not only attended this event, but traveled a distance, and were excited about going) I can add a bit of perspective for the fuddy-duddy in some.
Remember, that most of these college age kids are coming from Utah, Idaho, and surrounding areas and have been snow blasted, frozen, sleeted upon, finger/toe/nose/ears numbed, booger dripping, weather bearing for months. This festival is a fun way to celebrate spring, (thus all the colors of the chalk) different foods, and a different culture, and yes, dance, get chalky & have fun. Some of the kids in attendance were on Spring Break (though not all) and were there for just that...a break. Here is what the Daily Herald had to say about it:
"Close to 80,000 people from throughout the western United States turned out for the Festival of Colors at the Lotus Temple in Spanish Fork on Saturday.
The Festival of Colors, also known as Holi, is two days of thousands of people gathered on the hill of the Krishna temple throwing brightly colored powder, participating in holy mantra and dancing to live music and bands like Jai Uttal and the Queen of Hearts Orchestra, The Mayapuris and The Kirtaniya Vibrations. Holi, the largest Indian festival, is held on the first weekend of spring to celebrate the beginning of the season.
There also was at least one comparison to Woodstock.Most come to throw colored powder into the air or at the crowd. Colors are scheduled to be thrown every two hours, but most toss the powder or wipe pink and orange chalk across the faces of passing attendees without so much as a hello first. However, the actions were welcomed -- and reciprocated -- by most.
Jennifer King, a mother of three from the Salt Lake area, brought her kids to the festival for the first time and intends to bring them to the Salt Lake event on April 14 as well.
"We came for the food and the atmosphere. I was here for the Festival of Lights, and the food was really good. The commute here was horrible, and the traffic was backed up to the Point of the Mountain," King said.
Indian food was another highlight of the event, and included vegetable curries, Basmati rice, Dahl -- spiced bean soups, papadams and mango juice. That was one of the draws for Sarah Rueckert, a mother of two, who came to the festival with her sister and children.
"We had samosas, veggie fritters, mango lawsee. They were really good," Rueckert said. "I had no idea that there would be this many people. When you pull up there is a sea of people. We should've brought a stroller for the 2-year-old, though it might've gotten in the way. My kids think this is a riot. It's great. I think we'll do it every year."
Krishnas in the area expected the traditional Indian holiday to draw a larger crowd than last year, which according to their website had 50,000 attendees, and made arrangements to host a larger event. However, after witnessing delays in the shuttle system and wall-to-wall traffic for miles, some of the participants weren't sure they'd planned for quite large enough of a crowd.
This Indian holiday was intended to be a time to spread ideals of unity, love of nature and an expression of religious convictions.
Cassi drove down from Rexburg with a bunch of her friends and she went to the festival with her cousin and some other friends as well. From a girl who is presently pulling straight A's...I think a little fun is just the ticket. Here is the 'before' picture she texted to me as they got there.
Lindsay E, Cassi D, and Andrea H
All nice & clean with WHITE t-shirts on.
Cassi texted me this pic from the parking lot.
Cousin Lindsay E. and Cassi after their celebration.
Cassi on the shuttle ride back to their car...
even has chalk in her braces...ew.
Well, the kids had fun. There was no alcohol, drugs, nudity, or PDA's like Woodstock so I think that comparison is a stretch for those wanting to put a spin on it. And let's face it...it had to be a pretty uncomfortable ride home. Hehehe. Ahhhhhh youth, oh to be young again and have this much energy and enthusiasm for life.