The International Indian Film Awards took place at Raymond James Stadium home of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers football club. The evening opened with with a tribute to the host city. Pirate ship and cannons along with hosts Shahid Kapoor and Faina Akhtar stopping by to chat with Mayor Bob Buckhorn and requesting the keys to the city. The Mayor thought about it and with a response of only if you entertain us, a deal was cemented. Entertain they did.
The crowds began to arrive early yesterday morning to see their favorite stars. The green carpet saw the likes Vivek Oberoi, Priyanka Chopra, Vir Das, Ankit Tiwari and Anil Kapoor. Hollywood was represented by John Travolta, Kevin Spacey and Stephen Baldwin.
Travolta was given an award for his popularity in India. Travolta spoke after the show on the dance sequences of the evening and felt that Hollywood needed more musicals.
The evening was full of comedy, dance, and song, and was simply a joy for all who attended. A mixture of cultures also brought an evening of glamor that Tampa has not seen in along time. Can one say that Bollywood was a success. Without a doubt, the past 4 days have seen song and dance along with fashion and big business joining hands and culminating into a star for the city. Tampa has hosted sporting events and conventions but this is the first of what has to be an international success.
The time spent putting this show and the festivities that surrounded it together gave Tampa a good shot in the arm. With the exposure of all that took place and how well it was received looks favorably for Tampa to be on the receiving end of many more events like the International Indian Film Awards.
From a native Tampanian's point of view, I can say that this has been a great couple of days of beauty and glamor that the Indian community has bestowed on us and I thank you all for coming and visiting our city.