Vancouver Vaisakhi Festival returns this weekend

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      Punjabi Market is going to be a whirlwind of activity for the annual Vancouver Vaisakhi Festival this weekend.

      Organized by the long-running Khalsa Diwan Society (who created the first Gurdwara in North America in 1908), the festival and parade promise to attract thousands of residents and visitors to the South Vancouver neighbourhood to take part in the festivities on April 13. 

      Main Street from 49th to Marine Drive, Fraser Street from 41st to Marine Drive, Marine Drive from Knight Street to Main Street, and 57th from Knight Street to Ontario, will all be closed between 10am and 6pm for the parade. 

      “Vaisakhi is a cultural celebration for our South Asian community that brings joy and vibrancy to Vancouver,” Mayor Ken Sim says in a statement. “It’s a fantastic display of culture, with community performers and live music for all Vancouverites to enjoy. I invite everyone to visit Punjabi Market this weekend to attend the parade, take in the delicious food, and support our local businesses.”

      While a celebration for the first harvest has a history stretching back thousands of years in South Asia in the spring, the festival also specifically marks the anniversary of the creation of the Khalsa order in 1699 by Sikh religious leader Guru Gobind Singh. 

      The parade, usually attended by over 100,000 visitors, is one of the largest Sikh processions in the world, and features floats, performers, live music, and an all-ages street party. Free vegetarian food is also distributed by volunteers as part of the spirit of communal eating and selfless service. 

      Find out more about the parade route here

      Vancouver Vaisakhi Festival 2024

      When: April 13, 10am to 6pm 

      Where: Parade begins at Southeast Marine Drive and Khalsa Diwan Road (Ross Street)