New York: New York City hosted the largest annual celebration of India’s Independence Day outside of the country.

Tens of thousands of people showed up Sunday for the noon parade down Madison Avenue, from East 38th Street to East 25th Street.

The 2018 festivities feature nearly 40 floats, 20 marching groups and six professional bands. There is also Indian food, merchandise, dancing and music.

This year's grand marshal is actor-turned-politician Kamal Haasan. Organisers say the theme is "the world is one family."

Last week, on August 15, the US honoured India’s Independence Day as it illuminated the iconic Empire State Building in Indian flag colours – saffron, white and green.

In a message on Twitter, it wrote, “Happy India Day from New York City! Together with the Federation of Indian Association, we’re honoring India’s Independence Day by recreating the Indian flag in lights tonight.”

Also, the famous Niagara Falls sported the same colours on Independence Day.

"On this Indian Independence Day, we congratulate India - a unique civilisation, a fellow democracy, and a friend - on taking its rightful place as a leading global power and continuing our shared efforts to sustain the rules-based order," Michael Pompeo, US Secretary of State, said on August 15.

"As members of the oldest and largest democracies, the people of the US and India have always enjoyed strong bonds of friendship. We are grateful for the vibrant Indian-American diaspora and the growing number of young people strengthening ties between our countries as exchange students," he added.

The annual celebration is organised by the Federation of Indian Associations, which represents more than 500,000 ethnic Indians in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.

Independence Day was celebrated Saturday outside Jersey City’s City Hall with hundreds of Indians turning up and participating in cultural activities.

The 2018 parade in New York marks India’s 72nd Independence Day.