THE annual Vaisakhi Parade (Khalsa Day Parade), taking place on April 22, will once again host a lively and celebratory event to mark the birth of the Sikh faith, is expected to draw in excess of 300,000 people to the community to celebrate and enjoy one of the most important elements of the annual event, the amazing foods of India. Each year hundreds of local business and individual families present free food offerings to the crowd in celebration of the parade.
Organizers of event, the Gurdwara Sahib Dasmesh Darbar, along with a number of supporting agencies including Fraser Health, the Surrey RCMP, the City of Surrey (including City of Surrey Bylaws office) are reminding businesses and individuals participating in the Parade-route kiosks and stands to observe the following:
* Drone policy. Organizers of the Surrey Vaisakhi Parade remind attendees that drones are not permitted without a permit from Transport Canada. As the parade route is within 3 km of Surrey Memorial Hospital’s emergency helipad landing site, we ask drone operators to ensure they have proper clearance.
* Check the Surrey Vaisakhi Parade website (www.surreyvaisakhiparade.com) for information on safe food handling and to download the Temporary Food Permit that must be completed prior to the event in order to serve food at the event.
Representatives of the Gurdwara, Satinderpal Singh Gill, Gian Singh Gill, Moninder Singh and Davinder Singh Grewal, told the media that the main float will be at the Gurdwara at 8 a.m. and the Nagar Kirtan will start at 9 a.m. along the route they uses every year. The main stage set up by the Gurdwara will be at 128th Street and 76th Avenue. There will be a total of only 20 floats.
They thanked the community for complying with their request to not have Gidda and Bhangra with loud music on their stages along the parade route. They stressed that though these were a part of the culture, they were not something to be performed on a religious day such as this.
They requested participants to use garbage bags at all stalls and to keep all the area around the Nagar Kirtan route clean.
They cautioned women with strollers to take extra care wherever there was too much of a rush. They also appealed to people to take good care of the elderly as they may get confused and suggested they place a slip with their home address in their pocket.
There will be lost and found places set up by the Gurdwara.
In case of any medical emergency, help get the onsite paramedics there quickly.
There will be school buses to transport people from distant parking areas to the parade route. There will also be two BC Transit buses to take seniors around the parade route.
The representatives said that if any politician wanted to deliver a speech from the main stage, they must request some time for that. All parties will get the same treatment.
Party leaders will get time only to welcome the community and not indulge in politics. The stage is to tell people about the Khalsa.
The representatives also cautioned people to be careful of those asking for donations as some are genuine and some are not. ‘Donate at your own risk’ was the message.
They also urged people not to come after consuming alcohol or drugs.
They said to welcome and respect everyone and be happy.
NOTE: Anyone wishing to serve food must have a temporary hand washing area next to the food preparation area; wear gloves for all food preparation and serving; wash their hands prior to food preparation and service; keep hot food such as rice and sauces heated to a minimum of 60 degrees Celsius at all times; keep cold food cooled to 4 degrees Celsius or below at all times; have a sanitation solution at food preparation and serving locations; sanitize food cutting and preparation locations. For a full list of Do’s and Don’ts visit the website.
Due to a potential disruption to the airspace caused by a large number of balloons being released accidentally, all participants are asked to respect an absolutely “No Helium Balloon” policy. There is a serious safety concern for air traffic due to large numbers floating into the air traffic space above the Parade route. The organizers are asking for corporate and individual support in respecting the “no helium balloons” policy on parade day.
Anyone setting up a food stand at this year’s event are asked to ensure that all tents are NOT set up on the sidewalks alongside the route. This causes a significant public hazard.
For more information about the event including the parade route visit: www.surreyvaisakhiparade.com.