SURREY – Final preparations are underway for the annual Khalsa Day Parade – also known as Vaisakhi – taking place this Saturday, April 18.
The streets of Newton will once again host a lively and celebratory event to commemorate one of the most important days in the Sikh calendar, the creation of the Khalsa.
Khalsa Saajna Divas ("creation of the Khalsa") is celebrated worldwide to recognize the evolvement and importance of this group of people.
The event has been held in Surrey for the past 16 years, bringing together
more than 250,000 people in the largest Khalsa Day parade held outside of India.
The parade is scheduled to begin Saturday at approximately 9:30 a.m. at the Gurdwara Sahib Dasmesh Darbar, 12885 85th Ave., Surrey. The parade will conclude there at approximately 4 p.m. Along the parade route, temporary stages are built on private property for a variety of activities, including singing, dancing, greetings, well wishes and speeches.
The annual event features performance, live music, decorated floats, and food and drink compliments of local residents and businesses.
It’s a chance for people of all cultures and religions "to experience the joyous day, learn about the Sikh faith and savour the unique food and entertainment."
Organizers remind those who will be
involved in the parade to refrain from using helium balloons, in order to decrease air pollution post-parade.
Also, parking is extremely limited near the parade route, and attendees are encouraged to travel to the event via transit.
Mainstage attractions include Kirtan/Dhadis (devotional and inspirational Sikh music, from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.), a ceremony honouring community volunteers (12:30 to 1:30 p.m.) and a speaker series (1:30 to 2:30 p.m.).
For more information about the event, including the parade route, visit Surreyvaisakhiparade.ca.
Last year, despite heavy afternoon rain, Surrey’s Khalsa Day Parade attracted close to 250,000 attendees.