The trend that started in 1980 is the biggest Sikh event outside India and Canada. About 80,000 people are expected to attend the event this year.
The 38th annual Sikh Festival and Parade is under preparation as the community makes arrangements for the event scheduled for the coming weekend. The celebrations will begin on Friday, November 3, with Fireworks; on Saturday, November 4, there will be Open House and Reception; and, the Sikh Parade will take place on Sunday, November 5. All events will take place at Sikh Temple Gurdwara, 2468 Tierra Buena Road, Yuba City.
“This is the largest Sikh event outside of Canada and India,” participant Harbhajan Singh Dheri said, appealdemocrat.com reported. “We have more and more people coming each year – there could be 80,000 people or more this year.”
Dheri said the event has come a long way and he remembers the first time when he attended in 1980, adding that it was a much smaller affair then.
“We had about 5,000 or 6,000 people at the first parade,” Dheri said. “We were cautious and the police and sheriff’s were cautious because there was more prejudice then.”
The Sikh American, who worked as a teacher in the Yuba City for several years, retired in 2011. “It means a lot to celebrate something like this with so many people in a country away from where I was born,” Dheri said. “I’m honored, and I never expected this as a child.”
Members of Sikh Temple Gurdwara Yuba City, too, are occupied making preparations for the grand event.
“We’ve been in the full swing of it for two months preparing for the parade,” said Karm Bains, who is a board member of the local gurdwara. “We have families from all over who want to help and participate.”
The event is open for all to attend and Sikhs attending the event will be glad to answer queries on the Sikh religion during the event, Bains added.
“Mix and mingle with the community and don’t hesitate or be embarrassed to ask people about the parade,” Bains said. “If someone wants to come into the temple, on the main screen in the worship hall there’s a translation that makes it easier for people who don’t understand the language.”