The date of Saturday, April 25 has been set for Surrey’s Vaisakhi Parade this year.
The 21st-annual event is expected to attract close to 500,000 people to streets of Newton in a daylong celebration of the birth of the Sikh faith, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
“In total, over 2,500 participants representing over 20 community organizations will participate in this celebratory event, with hundreds of thousands more celebrating this memorable day in roadside booths along the parade route,” said a press release from Laura Ballance Media Group on Monday (Feb. 10). “As part of the spirit of this community celebration the roadside booths give away free food and treats to onlookers.
The parade commemorates the founding of the Sikh religion in 1699. Parades have been held in Vancouver since 1979 and in Surrey since 1998.
“Organizers of the (Surrey) event, the Gurdwara Sahib Dasmesh Darbar, work with a number of supporting agencies including Fraser Health, the Surrey RCMP and the City of Surrey, including City of Surrey Bylaws office, throughout the year to ensure this important community event is safe for attendees of all ages, ethnicities and religions,” the release notes.
More event details are posted to surreyvaisakhiparade.com.
Every April, millions of Sikhs world-wide celebrate Vaisakhi Day. “Considered one of the most important festivals in the Sikh calendar, parades celebrating the event are held in Sikh communities around the world,” says a post on the parade website.
Surrey’s Vaisakhi Parade is among the world’s largest outside of India.