Surrey Vaisakhi parade crowd in Newton in April 2018. (File photo: Crystal Scuor)

Surrey Vaisakhi parade crowd in Newton in April 2018. (File photo: Crystal Scuor)

Vaisakhi 2019: April is here, meaning Surrey’s largest event is upon us this month

An estimated 500,000 people attended last year’s Vaisakhi parade in Newton

The date is set for Surrey’s annual Vaisakhi Parade, to be held this year on Saturday, April 20.

That’s also Easter weekend, for Christians who celebrate Jesus’ resurrection.

Under mostly blue skies, an estimated 500,000 people attended last year’s Vaisakhi parade in Newton – a new record for attendance.

In 2018, Surrey’s South Asian community celebrated its 20th annual Vaisakhi parade, which commemorates the founding of the Sikh religion in 1699. Parades have been held in Vancouver since 1979 and in Surrey since 1998.

The event here fills streets with food, entertainment, dancing and more.

“To pay tribute to the harvest celebration roots of the parade, attendees are given free food and drink from hundreds of local residents and businesses,” notes a post on the city’s website.

As always, a number of road closures will be in place near Gurdwara Sahib Dasmesh Darbar (12885 85th Ave.), where the parade begins at around 9 a.m. and concludes there at dinnertime.

The parade is a no-drone zone. “Transport Canada safety rules prohibit flying drones close to people, buildings, and areas where aircraft take off and land (airport, heliports, aerodromes),” warns the city’s website. “If you are a recreational drone operator and do not follow the rules, you could face fines of up to $3,000. All non-recreational drone operators need permission to fly.”

The parade route, application forms and other event details can be found at surreyvaisakhiparade.com.

Also in Surrey this month, Sikhi Awareness Foundation, or SAF, will host a Vaisakhi Fest on Sunday, April 14 at Central City Plaza (13450 102nd Ave.), from noon to 5 p.m.

The free event promises live performances, turban tying, martial arts, face painting and more.

“Enjoy a day of family fun with various activities and interactive stations. Also, learn more about the Sikh community, culture, and traditions,” organizers say in an event post. “SAF International is organizing this event to celebrate Vaisakhi and spread awareness about the charity’s initiatives. SAF is a registered Canadian charity supporting impoverished children and families in India. Come and learn more about this NGO and enjoy a day of festivities. Find more information at safinternational.org.”

• READ MORE:

PHOTOS: Sun shines down on Surrey’s 2018 Vaisakhi parade.

VIDEO: Surrey brothers work toward a ‘Foam-Free Vaisakhi’

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