The Global Connections: Holi event lit up Navy Pier with vibrant colors and joy on Saturday, March 23rd, thanks to the collaborative efforts of the Delhi Committee of Chicago Sister Cities International, ComEd, and Navy Pier. Smita N. Shah, Chairman of the Delhi Chicago Sister Cities Committee and President & CEO of SPAAN Tech, Inc., expressed her delight at being part of the celebration.

Navy Pier’s Global Connections Program orchestrated a memorable event, now the largest of its kind in the United States for Holi. Chicago Sister Cities International is proud to be a part of it, as it embodies our mission: celebrating the diverse international communities in Chicago and fostering cultural exchange to enrich our city.

Mayor Brandon Johnson of Chicago echoed the sentiment of unity and diversity, remarking, “Holi reminds us that goodness prevails over evil, and here in Chicago, we stand united against forces that seek to divide us. Our city’s strength lies in its diversity—across race, age, and socioeconomic status, we are united as one.”

The event, open to the public and free of charge, transformed the Aon Grand Ballroom and Navy Pier Beer Garden into a festive hub, featuring live music, traditional performances, delectable food from local vendors, and the iconic powder-throwing, symbolizing the arrival of spring and the victory of good over evil.

The connection between Chicago and Delhi reflects the strong ties between India and the city, with the Indian-American community contributing significantly to the cultural landscape of Chicagoland. Under Shah’s leadership, the Delhi Committee of Chicago initiated the Annual Legacy of Mahatma Gandhi Luncheon in 2014, honoring the enduring exchange of ideas between Mahatma Gandhi and the U.S., and promoting his principles of truth and non-violence. Shah’s efforts also led to the designation of October 2nd as Mahatma Gandhi Day in Chicago.

The success of the event was made possible by the generous support of individuals like Niranjan S. Shah, Pratima Shah, Darryl Tom, and the Sue Ling Gin Foundation.

Indian Counsel General Somnath Ghosh expressed gratitude to Mayor Johnson for welcoming the Indian community in Chicago and hosting the Holi celebration, which he noted has grown significantly year after year.

SPAAN Tech, Inc., a leading global engineering and construction management firm founded in 1998, played a crucial role in supporting the event. Recognized for its sustainable solutions in transportation, aviation, water, energy, and technology, SPAAN Tech has been honored by Inc. Magazine as one of the fastest-growing companies and by the Small Business Commerce Association as the Best of Business in Chicago Engineering Services.