Events/ Programs

Ratha Yatra, the Festival of Chariots, is an ancient festival of India originally held at Puri, Orissa where it is attended by millions of people. On this day, the presiding deities of the main temple, Jagannatha, Baladeva and Subhadra are taken out from the temple premises in an elaborate procession in huge chariots. The chariots are manually pulled with ropes by thousands of people accompanied by a procession of devotees who are ecstatically dancing and chanting the Vedic hymns. It is considered very auspicious and spiritually beneficial to anyone who participates in this festival.  This festival is celebrated to bring everyone together and spread the message of peace and unity in community.

Outside of India, this festival was first celebrated in San Francisco, USA in 1967 under the guidance of Srila Prabhupada, the Founder Acharya of International society for Krishna consciousness (ISKCON). Currently, this festival is observed in almost all major cities of the USA. Bloomington, IL held its first Ratha Yatra in 2012 which was a great success and ever since then this has become a yearly MEGA event attended by upwards of 1200 people from Bloomington Normal twin cities.

BMI Bhaktivriksha cordially invites every member of the society along with your family, friends and acquaintances to the 5th annual Festival of Chariots, the grand parade of the Lord of Universe on the streets of Miller park on Sunday September 18 2016 from 2-6 PM CST It is affirmed in the vedic texts of eastern wisdom that anyone who participates in this auspicious event will receive immense spiritual fulfillment, material and spiritual well-being and blessings from the Lord. This festival has been declared as  "City Festival" of Bloomington, IL and the event will be kicked off by the Honorable mayor of Bloomington, Dr. Tari Renner. 

Considering that this event attracts over 1200 people each year and we distribute FREE vegetarian dinner boxes to everyone, this is undoubtedly one of the largest MEGA events of Bloomington-Normal twin cities. The event includes FREE music, cultural events, Mantra Meditation and so many fun filled activities apt for people of all age groups. This event is OPEN for all and FREE admission. 
Also here is a quick peek into the event photo book from prior year.