An estimated 500,000 people celebrated Vaisakhi in Surrey on Saturday – and to their credit, all the garbage was gone within hours after the massive parade. (Photo: Crystal Scuor)

OUR VIEW: Surrey’s Vaisakhi cleanup puts Vancouver’s pot partiers to shame

Half a million people attend parade in Surrey and in its wake, things are cleaned up within 10 hours

With big public events come a big responsibility for celebrants to clean up after themselves. Take Surrey’s 20th annual Vaisakhi parade on Saturday.

They say half a million people hit the streets in Newton. Food was enjoyed. Countless paper plates, plastic forks, black garbage bags stuffed with trash, everywhere. You get the picture.

But to the celebrants’ credit, within hours after the parade all that garbage was gone, and all that remained on 128th Street to attest to it having hosted that epic Vaisakhi event was dusty pavement where so many feet had trod.

Surrey’s bylaw manager Jas Rehal said the clean-up went “very well” and City Hall is “very pleased.”

And then, there’s Vancouver and the 4/20 crowd last Friday. Sunset Beach Park was where roughly 40,000 marijuana fans showed up to enjoy Mother Nature, at least figuratively speaking. In its wake, news reports indicate the Vancouver Parks Board will require about 10 weeks to repair damage to that park, although the board has since backed off that estimate somewhat.

So, for that time, the park will be closed to everyone.

Last year’s complete tab for Vancouver’s 4/20 events, which included policing and clean-up bills, was reportedly $250,000. A tab picked up by Vancouver ratepayers. Ouch. (This year, 4/20 organizers have pledged to cover all the city costs, aside from policing.)

Rehal noted that Surrey taxpayers did not have to pay for the Vaisakhi cleanup — that was taken care of by the event’s organizing committee.

It should be noted that while the Vaisakhi parade was on pavement, 4/20 took place on — ahem — the grass.

Consider it, though. Half a million people attend an event in Surrey, and in its wake things are cleaned up within 10 hours. Forty thousand people attend an event in Vancouver, and they’re talking 10 weeks to set things straight again.

Makes you wonder, doesn’t it?



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