The International Indian Film Academy awards officially start tonight with Stomp, a Bollywood dance music festival, at Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park in downtown Tampa.
The free event to celebrate India's fashion, food and music starts at 7 p.m. and is open to the public.
One of the performers is Ravi Jakhotia, a graduate of Chamberlain High School, also known as “DJ Ravi Drums.” He wrote a new track, “Do Da Tampa,” which will be part of a six-minute dance number telling the story of Tampa's culture. The song and performance open the awards show Saturday night at Raymond James Stadium.
There will be food and beverages for sale at Stomp. Proceeds from concession sales will benefit the Gasparilla International Film Festival.
City officials expect thousands of people to attend and are warning drivers there might be traffic delays along Ashley Drive and nearby streets.
On Thursday there are several events at the Tampa Convention Center:
* The reservation-only Global Business Forum, featuring international business networking opportunities and panel discussions. The forum runs through Saturday and begins at 9 a.m. Registration is available through the University of South Florida College of Business.
*The open-to-all IIFA Expo, where Indian and Tampa businesses can promote their wares and create trade opportunities. The expo runs daily through Saturday, beginning each day at 8:30 a.m.
* The invitation-only IIFA Rocks fashion and music spectacular hosted by Bollywood actor Vivek Oberoi.
* There will be a special actors workshop at 10 a.m. at the Tampa Theatre, where USF students will learn from veteran Bollywood director Anupam Kher. This will be followed by the invitation-only premiere of his short film, “I Went Shopping For Robert De Niro,” a story about how the search for a gift for the star changes the lives of two girls who work for Kher in Mumbai.
At 7 p.m. Friday at the Mid Florida Credit Union Amphitheatre, there is the IIFA Magic of the Movies and Technical Awards show. The cheapest tickets available for the show earlier this week at Ticketmaster were $188.50; the most expensive were $835.50.
* The final event will be the IIFA Awards at 7 p.m. Saturday at Raymond James Stadium. Stars will again walk the green carpet outside the stadium from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. — another chance for Bollywood fans to see their favorites.