Two big community celebrations are happening this April in Vancouver and Surrey to celebrate Vaisakhi, one of the most important festivals in the Sikh calendar. Vaisakhi marks the birth of the Sikh faith, the creation of the Khalsa and pays tribute to the beginning of the Punjabi harvest.
Everyone is welcome at the annual Vaisakhi parades, which feature cultural floats, community performers and live music.
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. Expect to see people handing out things like pizza, ice cream and potato chips, as well as samplings of traditional foods. Come prepared to eat!
Vancouver Vaisakhi Parade
Saturday, April 14, 2018
11 am – 5 pm
The Vancouver parade starts at 11 am at the Ross Sikh Temple (8000 Ross Street) and proceeds west on SE Marine Drive, north up Main Street, east on 49th Avenue, south at Fraser Street, east along 57th Avenue and then south down Ross Street back to the temple.
You can enjoy the festivities taking place along the parade route throughout the day, with most of the action taking place on Main Street from Marine Drive up to 49th Avenue, as well as several blocks on 49th Avenue.
Make sure to stop by the Vancity booth at 6587 Main Street (between 49th and 50th Avenue, in front of Himalaya Restaurant).
The Khalsa Diwan Society is working with Vancity again to make the parade as green as possible. Vancity community partner Green Chair Recycling will create a Green Zone on Main Street from 54th to 49th Avenue towards Prince Edward Street to divert waste from the landfill.
Surrey Vaisakhi Parade
Saturday, April 21, 2018
9:30 am – 4 pm
It’s one of the largest Vaisakhi parades outside India, with more than 400,000 people attending this festival in Surrey last year. The Surrey parade has been held in the streets of the community for the past 19 years.
The Surrey parade begins at the Gurdwara Dashmesh Darbar Temple (12885 85th Avenue) and proceeds along 124th Street, turns left onto 75th Avenue, continues on 76th Avenue, onto 128th Street, then back to the Temple.
Make sure to stop by the Vancity booth at the corner of 128 Street and 76 Avenue (in front of the Husky gas station).