Festival of Joy Returning to Klyde Warren Park

Promising a fun-filled day of bright colors, a parade, vegetarian feast, music, dance, yoga, crafts, and other cultural activities, the third-annual Festival of Joy returns to Klyde Warren Park May 21.

The Festival of Joy – also celebrated as Ratha Yatra or the Festival of Chariots – is rooted in ancient India’s bhakti or devotional tradition. It is celebrated in major city centers around the world, including New York City’s Fifth Avenue and London’s Piccadilly Circus. It has been observed annually for more than 3,000 years in the holy city of Jagannatha Puri in Orissa, India, making it the world’s longest-running street festival.

“We look forward to a safe, bigger, and bolder Festival of Joy, with expanded programming and interactive activities for visitors of all ages to enjoy,” said Nityananda Dasa, president of the Radha Kalachandji Temple. “Quickly becoming a Dallas tradition, the festival will mark the beginning of summer and the renewal of life post-Covid. The energy and joy felt by the thousands who attend reminds us that there is hope in the world and that the consciousness within can spread to inspire others. We hope people of all backgrounds will come and experience this special celebration of spiritual culture.”

Ritika and Atul Vohra. COURTESY PHOTO

The Dallas festival, spearheaded by longtime Park Cities residents Atul and Ritika Vohra,  starts at 11 a.m. with a welcome ceremony at Klyde Warren Park, followed by a parade at noon through the Dallas Arts District, which returns to the park at 1:30 p.m. New this year is Kalachandji Konnect, an opportunity to continue some of the festival experiences throughout the year at Kalachandji’s, which hosts cooking, yoga and meditation classes.

“We’re making this a Dallas spring tradition. We’re very excited that we’re back,” Atul said. “We’re just so excited to be able to share our traditions with people on that day, but also provide a basis to connect ongoing.”

After the procession ends at Klyde Warren Park, families and guests can enjoy cultural and educational exhibits revealing holistic living and the spiritual heart of India until 7 p.m. The main stage will feature kirtan (musical mantra meditation) and bharatnatyam (classical Indian dance), and stalls will present Ayurveda, yoga, traditional crafts, vegetarian cooking demonstrations, cultural displays and more. 

For more information, visit Festival of Joy’s Facebook page.

PHOTOS: Courtesy Festival of Joy Dallas

Rachel Snyder

Rachel Snyder, deputy editor at People Newspapers, joined the staff in 2019, returning to her native Dallas-Fort Worth after starting her career at community newspapers in Oklahoma. One of her stories won first place in its category in the Oklahoma Press Association’s Better Newspaper Contest in 2018. She’s a fan of puns and community journalism, not necessarily in that order. You can reach her at rachel.snyder@peoplenewspapers.com

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