The highlight of the festivities was an extravagant procession, which took place July 4 and consisted of nine different floats and drew 5,000 people. Floats were decorated with German silver, flowers, American and Jain flags, had live music, dolis, with Pathsala children participating.
Cultural programs were a large part of the inauguration as well, with religious dances like garba and dandiya performed at the main entrance of temple. Other highlights included a “flower shower” from a helicopter, elaborate, robotic displays on the lives of Mahavir Swami and the five Kalyanaks.
Special activities for youth allowed them to ask philosophical questions and play “Jain Jeopardy.” Discussion groups included “Jainism in College,” “Peer Pressure,” and “Moksha in the Modern World.” College-aged volunteers supervised younger children as they played games and created Jain-inspired art.
The Jain Center acquired almost ten acres of land in Franklin Township in Somerset County, and the total area of the project is 51,000 sq. ft. The traditional derasar has a total area of about 6,000 sq. ft.
The address of the Franklin Township Derasar is 111 Cedar Grove Lane, Franklin Township, N.J. 08873.