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Hicksville Celebrates Indian Independence

South Broadway was alive with the sound of drums, bhangra music and laughter this past Sunday as thousands gathered to celebrate India Independence Day.

Indian Independence Day is August 15. A parade is held in Manhattan every year, and Hicksville has hosted its own the past two years.  Parade committee member Tina Shah emigrated from India when she was in college. She says having the parade in Hicksville saved people the trouble of having to go to Manhattan and allowed them to celebrate Indian Independence Day closer to home.

“The community’s growing so big and so quickly we needed a presence here,” Shah said. “

“People used to travel to Manhattan and now they can come here. It’s convenient. I’m glad we’re celebrating these events in America,” Rajan Nabe said. “When I came here 30 years ago I would have never imagined such a thing was possible.”

In just one year, the parade has grown significantly. Last year they had less than 10 floats, this year they had 17. Groups like the Hicksville Cricket Club, the Young Indian Cultural Group, and the India Assosciation of Long Island proudly marched down South Broadway.

They were also joined by representatives from countries like Poland, Lebanon and Guyana who congratulated India on their independence day. Thousands attended the parade and enjoyed food, music by DJ Kucha, cultural festivities and a dance performance by the BQ Girls.

According to 2010 census data, 20 percent of the Hicksville community is Asian. Evidences of the Indian community are not hard to find. Indian restaurants, grocers, beauty salons and sari shops line South Broadway.

“The Indian American parade is one of the highlights in my district,” New York State Senator Jack Martins said. “It’s a wonderful community at the forefront of entrepreneurship. They’re an integral part of our community and the fabric that is Nassau County.”

“We’re still close to our country and want to celebrate so we can bring our community together,” committee member Shalu Chopra said.

News

Some students returning to school the first day might see a new face on the bus: Hicksville’s new interim superintendent Dr. Carl Bonuso.

“Every year on the first day of school I ride one of the buses. To see the face of a kindergartener on that first ride just reminds you of why you’re in the field,” he says.

Last week, County Executive Ed Mangano declared amnesty for all speed camera tickets issued this summer.

Drivers across Nassau County were up in arms due to the recent implementation of the school zone cameras, which had issued numerous violations since they were installed just weeks ago. The source of residents anger with the county’s speed cameras stems from lack of  warning and the cameras issuing speed violations even when school wasn’t in session.


Sports

I’m convinced that the soul and the center of Hicksville is Cantiague Park. And why not? Every weekend it’s a beehive of activity ranging from tennis matches, hand ball games, basketball and baseball games, swimming, hockey and of course ‘the beautiful game’ called soccer. Cantiague has two professional soccer fields that are perfectly manicured and begging to be played on. And they were. This weekend was the finals of the East Meadow Soccer Tournament which is one of the largest youth soccer tournaments in the nation, sponsored by the US Soccer Federation. There were 18 boys and girls teams in the finals and a large staff of referees.

Two of the refs were Steven Orozco and Randy Vogt who told me how soccer had been growing and has now become the second most popular participation sport in America with 25 million of us watching this year’s World Cup.  I also met and interviewed Joe Codispoti who along with Tim Bradbury is the head coach of Rockville Centre United, a U16 boys club.  This U16 team has a group of standout players led by  Jack Graziano, AJ Codispoti and Pat Basile who have been playing together for six years.

Cantiague Park Senior Men’s Golf League had its fourth tournament on Thursday Aug. 7. We had 33 golfers and a record 8 who scored under 40. Low overall score was won by newcomer Ed Hyne with an impressive 33, his second low net in a row. Charlie Acerra scored a solid 35, and won low overall net with a 26; his best score in 4 years.

Competition on the nine-hole course is divided into two divisions. Flight A is for players with a handicap of 13 or lower. Flight B is for players with a handicap of 14 or more. The league is a 100 % handicap league. Any man 55 years or older is eligible for membership. We have many openings for this year, and you can sign up anytime throughout the the season. The league meets every Thursday at 7:30 a.m., but the formal tournament dates are only the first and third Thursday of the month through late October. We will have a final luncheon with prizes on our last meeting.


Calendar

Close Encounters with Benevolent ETs and Ascended Masters

August 29

Adventures in Genealogy

September 4

Greek Festival

September 5-7



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