Taste of Pakistan and 18th Flag hoisting ceremony in Bolingbrook makes a history by attracting a large crowd of over 10,000 people on Pakistan Independence Day, Jawad Ahmed, Sen. Bill Brady (Republican Candidate for Gov.) Consul General Aman Rashid and the Mayor Roger Claar were among the guests. APA sets high standards in the community based programs.
Association of Pakistani Americans (APA) Bolingbrook once again sets the standard for arranged the best ever show in the southwest suburb and won the heart of every attendee by showcasing such a wonderful program that provided the entertainment for all ages. The presence of Mr. Jawad Ahmed a leading singer of Pakistan attracted more than expected crowed. APA is a Chicago lands leading organization headed by Mr. Talat Rashid who serves on Planning and Zoning board of Village of Bolingbrook as a Planning Commissioner organizes the Independence day program and Flag hoisting ceremony for the Past 18 years along with Ajaz Gill, Hamid Bhatti, Kamran Rashid, Aziz Vayani, Zafar Chaudhry, Wasim Khan, Zulfiqar Ahmed, Fahim Fahmi , Faisal Rashid and Mr. Mir Ali the spirit behind the whole show, who did everything to make this program the best ever. Those Little funny people, and 3 free Airline tickets attracted the devoted Pakistanis
The program started at 5: 45 with Mir Ali thanking the audience about the whole day event .He then invited Mr. Talat Rashid to introduce the respected guests. After the brief history of Flag hoisting ceremony which APA is arranging for the past 18years Mr. Talat Rashid said we are very proud to have this event in Bolingbrook. We have always provided the best entertainment to the public. He thanked all the major sponsors including Etihad Airways, PIA, AFAM family insurance, Dr. Mozzam and Longi of Advance Pediatric care Bolingbrook, Bolingbrook Golf club, Ajaz Gill of Nascent ,Du Page township, RNA corp. and especially mentioned the name of Dr. Murtaza Arain who was recently appointed to Trauma center board by the Gov Pat Quinn. Dr. Murtaza Arain this year also became a supporter of APA and we are very thankful to him for his support. Mr. Talat also congratulated Dr. Arain from the Pakistani community in Bolingbrook and also from Mr. Munir Akhtar who sponsored Dr. Arain’s ad in the souvenir book. Mr. Munir is a very long time supporter and well wisher of APA who was out of town and he was missed.
Mr. Talat Rashid then invited Consul General of Pakistan for brief remarks. This was his last public appearance. Mr. Rashid also mentioned that Consul General will be missed very much since he is leaving Chicago to another mission. Consul General Dr. Aman Rahid who recently received the key to the city thanked the Mayor and APA for arranging such a wonderful program for the Pakistani community. He also praised the efforts of Mr. Talat Rashid and his team thanked Mayor Roger claar for providing the opportunity to hold flag hoisting ceremony. Consul General said that Bolingbrook is his 2nd home and whenever he will get a chance to visit U.S. he will definitely visit the Bolingbrook.
Mayor Roger Claar during his speech praised the services of APA Bolingbrook and the contributions of Pakistani community in Bolingbrook. During his speech Mayor informed the crowed that we recently got a status of being the 43rd best place to live in the U.S. It did not happen in one day. It was the result of hard work on the part of city government that got us to that place. When Mayor Claar got to the stage the audiences waved small laminated fans which had written 43rd in Big red numbers. Mayor acknowledged and was very happy to see an amazing welcome.
Mayor then introduced other elected officials. They were Pat McGuire Will County Treasurer, Mr. Wayne Kwiat running for Judge, Maripat for 43rd Dist. Seat and Senator Bill Brady who is running for the office of Illinois Governor along with Mike Murnnane his community coordinator.
Rick Mace chairman of Bolingbrook hospital congratulated the community on Pakistan day and mentioned that hospital has about 36 Pakistani physicians on staff and he praised their services to the community. Bill Mayer Du Page township Supervisor spoke for few minutes congratulated the community and praised the effort and hard work of Association and the key members. A quick note that Mr. Bill Mayer Du page township Supervisor travelled 2.5hrs each way to attend the function and then went back. Pakistani community is very thankful to him for his devotion.
After the brief introduction by Talat Sen. Bill Brady stressed on the issues being faced by the state now and the solution that will work. He said he will work with the legislatures to balance the budget for the people of Illinois. He also said he will be working hard to put all people back to work and create jobs for everyone. Mr. Bradely especially came from Bloomington to attend the event
Flag hoisting ceremony took place at 6:20Pm. National anthem of both countries was played. It was a moment of very pride for all of us that Pakistani flag was flying high in the air at the city hall. Those Little Funny People presented an attention-grabbing show for kids and adults. This was the first time these funny characters presented their act which kept the people sitting where they were seated. Their act was very funny which made everyone laughed. Next year they are planning to practice their act on a Punjabi song.
Ajaz Gill took stage after the little people and conducted a quiz competition thus testing the knowledge of Pakistanis about the history of Pakistan. It was very entertaining, Ajaz kept the public engaged. The winner received variety of gifts including dinner tickets to several local area restaurants. This segment was liked by everybody and Mr. Ajaz did a great job handling the task.
Everyone was waiting for the star of the night. After Magrib Prayer, Mir Ali announced the appearance of the singer and gave a brief introduction of Jawad Ahmed before bringing him to the stage. In a very dramatic way Jawad appeared from the middle of the stage a scene that made everybody stunned. It was a very magically appearance of this world known Singer. Mir Ali a talented host planned this dramatic appearance of Jawad Ahmed. Everyone in the crowd shouted with joy and there was clapping everywhere you can see. Jawad kept the crowed engaged for continuous 2 hours by singing all of his favorites. The stage was decorated very professionally and was fully decorated with several color of lights. This is one of the best stage city of Bolingbrook performing center has. According to Media Manager Mr. Dale we are one of the few cities who have this kind of professional stage.
The seats and area surrounding the stage were full of people; the hill was packed with people enjoying the show. Food vendors provided a range of Pakistani flavors to taste, from Kabab rolls, chicken Tikka, Golgapas,Baryani, to chat and much more. Stalls of clothes with the latest fashions lined the pave way for people to browse through and purchase. Ladies had the chance of having get Eye Brow done, Mehndi (hina) on their hands while kids enjoyed face painting, rock climbing, train rides and Bolingbrook Library' Mobile library vehicle. Electronics, clothing, gadgets, shoes and jewelry were some of the other items that vendors were selling. All vendor seemed very happy to be part of Bolingbrook “Taste of Pakistan” There was definitely something for everyone to enjoy.
The last attraction of the program was winning Raffle Tickets for Etihad Airways Who were always our big contributor and supporter offered 2 free Tickets to Pakistan and also PIA offered one roundtrip to Pakistan. Mr. M Iqbal, Mr. Tariq Gill won the Etihad Tickets while Mr. Ali won the PIA Tickets. Over all it was the best ever program in Bolingbrook history. APA is again very thank full to our Major sponsors and the other sponsors who gave items for Raffle and dinner Tickets such as, Lal Qila Resturant, Sabri Nehari, Bismillah, Italian Express, Bolingbrook Golf club, News Star Autos, Computech and Bolingbrook T-Moblie store and Hampton INN Bolingbrook offered a complimentary room for the singer.
APA is also very thankful to the media Bolingbrook Sun, Bolingbrook TV BCT 6, Urdu Times, Pakistan Times, 5 Star Tribune and Chicago tribune and Ifti Nasim and Javed Rana of News Pakistan who especially promoted the program in their Radio program Sangam every Sunday. APA is also very thankful to Mr. Said Umar Khan, Mr. Shaheen parvez and Mr. Jamil Khan of Star Autos for helping in selling Raffle tickets. Village of Bolingbrook, Bolingbrook Police, and Public works dept offered their services and did a great job in this historical event.