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India Day finds new venue in Andover after security costs cancel Esplanade plans

Posted by Johanna Kaiser  August 15, 2013 11:37 AM

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The India Association of Greater Boston has found a new location for its India Day celebration after canceling this Saturday’s planned celebration at the Esplanade’s Hatch Shell.

The association’s annual India Day will now be held at Andover High School’s Collins Center on September 8, where attendees will celebrate with musical performances; classical, folk and Bollywood dances; vendors; and food.

The celebration, which has commemorated the nation’s independence on the Esplanade for more than 20 years, was rescheduled due to the higher cost of increased security imposed since the Marathon bombings that would have required organizers to pay for 27 State Police troopers and a security vendor to perform bag checks at all entrances of the Esplanade.

Holding the event at the Esplanade would have caused the India Association of Greater Boston to lose more than $20,000, according to association president Amrit Soni.

The security measures would have also limited the entry points, causing lines to back up.

“Our event brings a large number of people between the hours of 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. and a very large number of vendors displaying their wares,” Soni said in an e-mail. “With a limited number of entry points, we need to plan our event differently. Obviously long queues will be an issue.”

Massachusetts State Police spokesman David Procopio previously told the Globe that a thoughtful security plan is developed for every event held in a state park, and the State Police aim to take reasonable, balanced measures to ensure safety on the Esplanade without affecting the events.

India Day appears to be the highest-profile Esplanade gathering to be canceled as a result of the additional, costly security required following the Boston Marathon bombings.

Andover High School, located at 80 Shawsheen Rd., will host India Day from 4 to 8 p.m. Admission is free.

E-mail Kaiser at Johanna.yourtown@gmail.com. For more news about your city, town, neighborhood, or campus, visit boston.com’s Your Town homepage.

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