Celebrating its 35th anniversary Sunday, July 31, the Festival of the Chariots will parade from Santa Monica to Venice Beach for festivities that annually draw thousands.
Hosted by the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, the chariot parade will begin at 10 a.m. from the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium, down Main Street to the Ocean Front Walk plaza at Windward Avenue in Venice, where the festival site will be decorated by colorful Indian style “pandal” tents.
The festivities will feature many exotic food booths, a gift shop of imported products called Govinda’s, and three stages with classical music, dance and Indian rock fusion.
Parking for the festival at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium is accessible from Civic Center Drive off of Fourth Street due to Main Street being blocked.
The Festival of the Chariots is based on an ancient festival that takes place annually in the Indian holy town of Jagannatha Puri. Every year in India, the festival attracts over one million pilgrims, according to ISKCON. The Festival of the Chariots in Los Angeles attracts an estimated crowd of 50,000 every year.
The crowds participate by hand pulling the chariots with jute ropes as they parade toward the festival fairgrounds at Venice Beach.
Entertainment on the main stage will include performances by some of the premier artists in Indian dance and music, according to ISKCON.