The kickoff party for the International Indian Film Academy Awards invades Curtis Hixon Park.


Tampa, Florida -- Well before the party officially started at Curtis Hixon Park, the crowd was ready to rock Indian style for the kickoff event, IIFA STOMP!

The party signals the beginning of the International Indian Film Academy Awards (IIFA) coming to Tampa Bay. This is the first time the show's being hosted on U.S. soil in its 15-year history.

The free event packed in thousands and featured music, food, and dance.

Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn believes this is the Bay area's chance to really show the world what the city is all about.

"This means 800 million people will learn about a place called Tampa. This pays dividends for a lifetime," said Mayor Buckhorn.

As the sun set on the park, the global party truly got started, with DJ sets and the arrival of fans from all over the world. Mobs of paparazzi, fans, and spectators flocked to celebrities like Anil Kapoor, star of Slumdog Millionaire.

It was a coming together of generations: those who've been fans of Indian cinema for decades and the new fans who've never seen a Bollywood film before.

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