Sunday, March 6, 2011

Daily Herald: Festival of Colors Gears up for Record Crowds

The white-hot juggernaut that is the annual Holi Festival of Colors at the Krishna Temple shows no signs of slowing down.

In 2007, 3,000 people attended, celebrating spring by throwing 5,000 packets of colored flour at each other. In 2008 attendance tripled to 10,000, and the crowd snatched up 20,000 color packs.

Both attendance and the number of packets sold have continued to increase each year, said temple priest Caru Das. This year, hoping to raise $200,000 toward the purchase of a new property in Salt Lake City, the festival will offer a staggering 100,000 packets for sale at $2 each. And how many people will attend is anyone's guess -- certainly many thousands.

To handle the crowds, the temple has arranged for the use of 3,000 parking spaces, and shuttle buses will take festivalgoers to the temple. The festival has been expanded over two days, and for the first time, color-throwing will happen every two hours on both days. The goal is to spread the crush of people over different days and times.

"They can come and go when they want to, with no rush to get here," Das said. Read more...

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