By Dan Wing

By Dan Wing

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — To mark the 69th anniversary of the country’s independence from the British Empire, thousands of people took to Penn’s Landing Saturday for the 21st Annual Festival of India.

READ MORE: Philadelphia Health Department Declares Heat Advisory For Beginning Of Week

The summer sun and Delaware River made for a perfect back drop to the traditional Indian music and dancing going on on the stage.

Manish Ingle is President of the Council of Indian Organizations, and he says another goal of the festival is to help teach.

READ MORE: Several People Injured After Tree Falls On Top Of Them In Fairmount Park Near Mann Center In West Philly

“Not just the Indian population, but to get the mainstream Americans to know the Indian culture.” says Ingle. “So we want them to understand the Indian culture. It’s more like a melting pot around here. If you look around the pavilion, there are more Americans than Indians here.”

The current Miss India New Jersey was among the day’s special guests, and she’s thinks the event is a great way to keep in touch with her cultural roots.

“It kind of defines you in a lot of different ways. The values, the cultures, everything kind of stays with you throughout your life and it’s a big part of yourself. Your identity.”

MORE NEWS: Police Investigating Triple Shooting In Philadelphia's Brewerytown Neighborhood That Left 3 Women Injured

In addition to the entertainment on stage, visitors checked out a number of vendor tents and enjoyed some traditional Indian cuisine.