The grand marshal is the main person who leads the parade. India Day parades, not only in New York but also elsewhere in the US, are usually led by a Bollywood actor. Raj Kapoor was the grand marshal for the very first parade held in New York nearly three decades ago.
The parade, considered to be the largest outside India, is the highlight of the Indian-American community activities in the tristate area of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut during the summer.
President of the Federation of Indian Associations Shobhana Patel gave details about the parade at a community reception organised at the Consulate General of India. 'Achievement of Indian Women' is the theme of this year's parade, Mrs. Patel said adding "As responsible citizens, we need to break the cycle and work toward getting equal rights and opportunities for all the women."
This is the 27th parade being organised by the FIA on the occasion of India's 60th anniversary. Famous Bollywood Comedian Johnny Lever will be the Chief Guest, said Ms Patel, the first woman FIA president in 24 years.
Music composer A R Rahman was one of those special people who lighted the traditional lamp to kick of the process for the parade.
Consul General Neelam Deo appealed to all members of the Indian-American community to participate in the parade and make it a success. Bollywood actor Jimmy Shergill was also present on the occasion.
Chopra will also be the grand marshal at a parade to be held in Chicago on Aug 18, a day before the main event.