Every spring, thousands of Sikhs from across the Lower Mainland come to Vancouver to celebrate Vaisakhi (or Baisakhi), a day that marks both the New Year and the anniversary of one of Sikhism’s most important events, the establishment of Khalsa in 1699.
Although there are other celebrations in Metro Vancouver, the Vancouver parade is the original parade and for many it always will be. Furthermore, this parade, like many others in Vancouver is not just for the Sikh Community and is more of a multicultural affair, so head on over to Main Street and 50th on Saturday April 16th as that is the epicentre.
One of the best aspects of the parade is the free food (samosas, sweets, pizza, subs etc…) that can be found along the entire parade route.
As usual politicians will be there courting the Sikh vote as well (see photo above), maybe Christy Clark will finally reveal plans for that India Gate in Vancouver’s Little India in an effort to revive the struggling Little India neighbourhood.
Rain or shine good times will be had by all. Expect around a 80,000 to 100,000 people to attend. If you have the time head on over and check it out. Go for the free food and soak in the atmosphere of Little India. While you’re at it go and get a haircut for $10 and grab some samosas to go, they’re only 4 for a $1.
The parade begins at the Ross Temple (8000 Ross Street) in South Vancouver. See the map below for the entire parade route. This has to be one of the longest parade routes in the city clocking in at nearly 6 km! If you walk the entire route, you also get a pretty good workout.
Where: South Vancouver, Little India
When: Saturday April 16, 2011
Time: 10:30am to 4pm (expect the parade to reach 49th and Main around noon)
Map: 2011 Vancouver Vaisakhi Parade Route
View Vaisakhi Parade Route Vancouver in a larger map