ON Saturday, April 22, the Surrey RCMP will once again participate in the Surrey Vaisakhi Day Parade, one of the largest Vaisakhi celebrations in the world outside of India. Last year, over 500,000 people participated in this fun and safe family event.

“This is my 6th year at the Surrey Vaisakhi and it is always amazing to see the generosity and spirit of seva celebrated so openly by the South Asian community,” says Constable Charanjit Marjara from the Surrey RCMP Diversity Unit. “This Nagar Kirtan provides an opportunity for everyone, including the Surrey RCMP, to proudly celebrate the rich diversity of Surrey.”

Surrey RCMP’s Diversity Unit will have an information booth on site with resources about programs and initiatives. Many RCMP officers in attendance will be wearing their traditional red serge. RCMP volunteers will also be engaging with children by providing stickers and tattoos at 76A Avenue and 128th Street.

A number of road closures will be taking place in the City of Surrey this weekend due to the parade. Police ask that members of the public make arrangements to use alternate routes. Road closures will be in place from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the day of the parade. Increased delays may be expected for travel through and within the area between 72nd Avenue to 88th Avenue, and Scott Road to King George Boulevard. For a full list of road closures and route details, visit the City of Surrey’s website.

The Surrey RCMP typically responds to dozens of incidents of missing children or elderly persons who have become separated from their parents or group at this large event. Fortunately all missing people are eventually reunited with their families.

“The Surrey RCMP reminds parade participants that it is important to have a plan in place with your family prior to the event to reduce your risk of separation and what to do if in fact this does occurs,” says Marjara.

A plan may include these simple tips:

* Familiarize your family members with their surroundings and have a pre-planned meeting place

* Equip your family members with some form of identification and your contact information

* Make sure everyone in your party is aware of the location of the Surrey RCMP missing person’s tent and the location of emergency personnel

* Keep a current photo of your child on you in case you need to describe them to police

* Keep your children within eyesight at all times

The Surrey RCMP wishes everyone a very safe Vaisakhi Day!