Kelowna’s Vaisakhi Day parade this Saturday

In an outpouring of rich flavours and vibrant colour, Kelowna’s Sikh community will bring long-held traditions to local streets.

In an outpouring of rich flavours and vibrant colour, Kelowna’s Sikh community will bring long-held traditions to local streets.

Balbir Kang, one of the members of Kelowna’s Sikh community organizing Saturday’s Vaisakhi Parade and Celebration, explained that the event is one of the most important in the Sikh calendar.

“It’s a very important day for the Sikh community,” he said.

Every April, millions of Sikhs world-wide celebrate Vaisakhi Day.

The occasion is marked for two reasons.

It’s a time when farmers harvested their crops and celebrated the coming of a new year. It’s also an important day in the Sikh religious calendar—the day the Khalsa was created.

Kelowna started their contribution to the global celebration  three years ago with Vaisakhi Day festivities, and the event has grown in popularity every year since.

Last year there were 3,000 people in attendance, said Kang, and this year there’s expected to be even more. “The whole community comes together,” he said.

Attendees of all races and cultures are welcome to join the celebratory, cultural event, which features  floats and live music.

The event also features a unique element which pays tribute to the harvest  roots of the parade—free food. “There’s an open kitchen all day,” said Kang.

The Okanagan Sikh Temple and Cultural Society’s fourth annual Vaisakhi Parade will be on Saturday, April 26. The parade consists of floats and a walking procession.

Rolling road closures will be in effect from about noon to 3 p.m.

Rutland Road North will be closed from McCurdy Road to Wallace Road. Closures will then continue along Wallace Road, Sycamore Road, Sumac Road, Friesen Road, McCurdy Road (westbound) and Keyes Road to accommodate the parade.

Truck route closure signage will be posted on Highway 33 and Highway 97 for Rutland Road.

Detour signs for motorists using Rutland Road as well as traffic control personnel will be visible along the affected residential streets.

Transit service will be detoured along Aldon Road. Visit bctransit.com under Kelowna for route and schedule information.

Street parking restrictions along Aldon will also be in effect.

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