Organizers urge public to follow rules, preserve religious essence during Surrey Khalsa Day Parade on April 20

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In a bid to uphold the sacred traditions of Khalsa Day, organizers of the Nagar Kirtan in Surrey have urged the public to preserve the religious essence during Nagar Kirtan.

Khalsa Day Parade or Vaisakhi Nagar Kirtan — the biggest and most awaited event of the year of the City – will be returning to the streets of Surrey this year on April 20th Saturday.

Organizers of the event, the Gurdwara Sahib Dasmesh Darbar, along with other supporting organizations convened a press conference on April 9th at Grand Taj Banquet Hall to share the arrangement details of the Nagar Kirtan.

This year’s Nagar Kirtan will also honor slain Hardeep Singh Nijjar, president of Guru Nanak Sikh Gurdwara who was shot dead last year in Surrey.

S. Gian Singh Gill while reminding businesses, individuals and those planning to set up stages, said, that the Nagar Kirtan is a religious procession of profound significance for the Sikh community. “I urge those coming to the parade to maintain the religious essence of the celebration. Dances and music that do not reflect the significance of Khalsa Day should be avoided.”

Anticipating a turnout of more than 600,000 people, Gill said at times some places can become too crowded. He said people with kids and strollers should avoid those high-density areas. “The area around 76 Avenue and 128 Street becomes extremely crowded. Kids in strollers might feel suffocated. It is recommended that parents choose another route for Darshan.”

The parade will begin at approximately 9:30 AM at Gurdwara Sahib Dasmesh Darbar Temple, located at 12885-85 Avenue, and will conclude there at approximately 4:00 PM.  Everyone irrespective of caste, race, religion is welcome to join the parade. “Sikh religion teaches is inclusiveness and respect for everyone. We request participants to respect and welcome people from other religions or caste.”
To facilitate parade activities, area residents and businesses should be advised there will be road closures, traffic disruptions, restricted access and temporary parking restrictions.
The organizers also requested to follow garbage and recycling rules of the city.
Traffic controls will be in place beginning at 7:30 AM until approximately 5:00 PM, or until the RCMP deem the route is safe to be opened to vehicular traffic.  Access to 128th Street and road sections along the parade route will be impacted most significantly.  Increased delays may be expected for travel through and within the area between 72nd Avenue to 88th Avenue, and Scott Road to King George Highway.
Limited parking is available in close proximity to the parade route, and attendees are strongly encouraged to utilize public transportation to reach the event. “Given the constraints on parking availability, we encourage people coming from different cities and from the US to park somewhere else and use public transit and dedicated Vaisakhi parade buses to arrive at the parade. People can park at Guru Angad Dev School, Khalsa School, Sikh Academy, and Baba Banda Singh Gurdwara. There are dedicated buses to bring you to the parade. BC Transit will also provide 6 buses from 7 in the morning. Those coming from Sky train can also take those buses,” he said.

The city reminds people that the Surrey Vaisakhi 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). 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.

Vaisakhi marks an important event in Sikh history. For many thousands of years, Vaisakhi has been the time when farmers have put their sickles to harvest and celebrated the coming of a new year. It is also a holy day to mark the birth of the Khalsa fraternity.
The Surrey Vaisakhi Parade has been held in the streets of the community for the past 20 years. Attendees of all races and cultures are welcome at this celebratory and rich cultural event, which features a large number of floats, community performers. Surrey’s Vaisakhi Parade also features a unique element that pays tribute to the harvest celebration roots of the parade – attendees are given free food and drink from hundreds of local residents and businesses.