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India Day event canceled due to Hatch Shell security costs

Posted by Johanna Kaiser  August 14, 2013 12:31 PM

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Organizers of Boston’s annual India Day celebration have canceled the upcoming event at the Hatch Shell due to the cost of increased security.

The India Association of Greater Boston announced in a letter posted on its website that it is working to find a new venue and date for its India Day celebration commemorating the nation's independence. The event was originally scheduled for Saturday at the Charles River Esplanade’s Hatch Shell, but the association canceled the event after learning the cost of increased security measures.

“After (the) Boston Marathon bombing, the rules and regulations for holding large public events in Boston have changed. Mass State Police and DCR have recently informed us of additional security requirements and constraints, which have significantly increased the cost of having events at the DCR Hatch Shell,” the association’s president Amrit Soni wrote in the letter.

Implementing the new security requirements would cause the association to lose $20,000, “something that is inappropriate for a non-profit organization,” Soni said.

Security during large events at the Hatch Shell has visibly increased since the Boston Marathon bombings in April.

Officials added new security checkpoints, and banned visitors from carrying in backpacks, coolers on wheels, cans, glass containers, premixed beverages, liquids greater than 2 liters, or any sharp objects at Boston’s Fourth of July fireworks display and concert that draws up to a half-million people to the Esplanade.

Officials also increased the number of law enforcement and bomb squad officers.

Security checkpoints, bag searches, and item bans have also been enforced at smaller events such as the Boston Landmarks Orchestra's summer concert series and the Radio 92.9 EarthFest.

While India Day has brought thousands to the Hatch Shell for more than two decades, Soni said the organization is working to find a new venue to host the celebration in September.

“We are working feverishly to locate an appropriate alternate venue and date and hope to announce one as soon as possible. While it will be impossible to find a venue that provides the beautiful look and feel of the DCR Hatch Shell, we are trying our best to find a suitable alternate venue,” Soni said.

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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