Indian film Oscars start tonight with free public party

Tampa, Florida -- The events that will put Tampa Bay in the international spotlight start tonight!

Four days of parties and meetings will lead up to the International Indian Film Academy Awards. The IIFA Awards are Bollywood's version of the Oscars.

FULL COVERAGE: Bollywood in Tampa

The celebration gets started with a huge bash that's free and open to everyone in Tampa Bay at Curtis Hixon Park in Downtown Tampa on Wednesday night.

IIFA STOMP is all about bringing the flavor of India to America. You'll be able to dance to Indian music, try out Indian food, and just get immersed in Indian culture.

IIFA STOMP goes from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m., with gates opening at 6 o'clock.

10 News is the local television partner for the IIFA Awards and 10 News' Dion Lim will be anchoring live from IIFA STOMP during 10 News at 5, 5:30, and 6.

The party in the park is Tampa Bay's welcome for India, the country that makes more movies than any other country in the world -- including ours.

More Info:IIFA traffic plans, parking details

This is just the start of several days of events. They're spread across the entire city of Tampa at eight venues. That's eight places to keep security tight for this big international event.

Only 10 News talked with the people handling the transportation and protection for the stars. That includes all of the biggest names in Indian film and also Americans like John Travolta and Kevin Spacey.

The leaders of International Executive Protection, a private security firm, told 10 News' Reginald Roundtree they'll avoid Interstate highways while moving the VIPs.

They'll team up with local police along with a task force of former military and federal law enforcement officers.

Tampa Bay's experience handling big events is what helped attract the IIFA event here.

Planners say that same experience will also help keep it secure, since our area has already hosted events like Super Bowls and the Republican National Convention.

The big awards ceremony is Saturday night at Raymond James Stadium, but expect much of the security work to be at the Downtown Tampa Hilton. It's the main hub for the week.


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