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IIFA 2017: Three-day gala event begins, stars get a warm welcome in New York

IIFA Weekend and Awards gala kickstarted on Friday. Crowds gathered in Times Square to welcome the stars.

Shahid Kapoor speaks at IIFA 2017


Fans gathered at the bustling Times Square to catch a glimpse of their favourite Bollywood stars. The big IIFA Weekend and Awards gala kickstarted on Friday (14 July).

The crowds cheered names of their favourite superstars, a few of them were even seen sporting colourful pagdis (turbans). A family of three wore t-shirts reading 'Shah Rukh's fan', 'Salman's fan' and 'Aamir's fan'.

Salman Khan, Anupam Kher, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Katrina Kaif, Shahid Kapoor, Alia Bhatt, Varun Dhawan, Kriti Sanon and Sushant Singh Rajput set the pace for the IIFA celebrations. DJ Dwayne Bravo was also part of the celebrations.

Riva Ganguly Das, India's Consul General in New York, welcomed the stars to the city. "It's not everyday that the stars come to New York City. This is really India's soft power at its best as we try to develop a relationship with the US further. I think people are at the heart of relationships — and people-to-people relationships strengthen relations between countries. So, I think events like this when they happen, it's better late than never. New York is a great selection for the show as it gets great visibility for India because Times Square is really a place where the world meets. It's a great opportunity for us to show our soft power," said Das.

Sabbas Joseph of Wizcraft International Entertainment, the creators and producers of IIFA, also welcomed the three day gala, "We hope this is a weekend of laughter, happiness and joy of coming together in one of the biggest cities in the world," he said.

IIFA gala features the IIFA Stomp, IIFA Rocks and IIFA Awards. The main event, IIFA Awards, will be held on Sunday (15 July).

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IIFA Awards 2017