This Saturday, April 16th, the annual Vaisakhi Parade and Street Festival takes place from 11am to 5pm in South Vancouver's Punjabi Market District, also known as Little India. The festival is known for the colourful parade and the generosity of local residents and businesses who offer free vegetarian food.
The Vancouver Vaisakhi Parade is organized by the Khalsa Diwan Society and draws thousands of spectators. The festival celebrates the birth of the Khalsa in 1699 as well as the start of the New Year in India and the reaping of the harvest. The parade is led by five sikhs from the Khalsa Diwan Society and the temple float carrying the holy book. Colouful community floats with dancers, singers and live music follow behind and the parade slowly travels along the festival's designated route.
The sharing of free food is an important cultural part of the festival and a time for the Sikh community to celebrate and eat together. Sikh families along with local businesses set up tables along the parade route sharing hundreds of free vegetarian dishes. Enjoy a wide variety of curries, pakoras, Indian flat breads such as naan and poori, and traditional Indian desserts including Jalebi and Gulab Jamun. All are invited to attend.
Vancouver Vaisakhi Parade and Street Festival
Saturday, April 16th
Route: The parade starts at 11am at the Ross Street Temple (8000 Ross St at 64th), moves south on Ross Street to SE Marine Drive, then west to Main Street, north to 49th Avenue, east to Fraser Street, south to 57th Avenue, east to Ross Street and then returns to the Temple.
*As streets are closed and parking restricted along the parade route, the best way to attend is by public transit.