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Vibrant Vaisakhi Celebrations Unite South Vancouver Community

South Vancouver was alive with color and energy this past Saturday as an estimated 200,000 people gathered to celebrate Vaisakhi. Hosted by the Khalsa Diwan Society in Vancouver, the event marked the first harvest of the season, but also celebrated the birth of the Khalsa. From music to meals, the festivities had something for everyone.

The day kicked off with speeches at the Khalsa Diwan Temple, where community leaders gathered to emphasize  the cultural significance of Vaisakhi. 

The parade would follow soon after as from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., the streets were filled with floats, dancers, and people of all ages.

The Nagar Kirtan procession, winding its way from Marine Drive to Main Street and back to the temple, showed  the vibrant spirit of the Sikh community.

Malkit Singh Dhami, Former President of the Khalsa Diwan Society, reflected on the deeper meaning of Vaisakhi, stating, “Khalsa means pure… Guru Gobind Singh Ji said, ‘Bring everybody together.’ That’s why the middle name Singh (is) for everybody, so everybody is the same.” 

His words resonated with the diverse crowd, underscoring the event’s message of unity and inclusivity.

One of the most heartwarming aspects of Vaisakhi is the tradition of seva and langar—selfless service and communal meals.

Volunteer stalls along the parade route offered free vegetarian food to all attendees, reminding everyone of the spirit of sharing and compassion.

The event also drew a slew of prominent figures, including Vancouver Mayor Ken Sim, federal Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre, Premier David Eby, and provincial Opposition leader Kevin Falcon. 

OMNI Television was represented by members of Hockey Night in Canada Punjabi Edition and OMNI News: Punjabi Edition.

Even the Vancouver Canucks were represented, with Darcy Rota, Kirk McLean, and Fin the Mascot joining in the festivities. 

Rota, a Canucks Alumni member, expressed his joy at being part of such a vibrant celebration. 

“It’s incredible to be here, people of all different backgrounds attending, the weather, the environment. I truly could not be happier to be here,” he remarked.

But Vaisakhi isn’t just about one day of festivities, it’s about fostering community ties and celebrating diversity year-round.

As this weekend concludes, preparations are already underway for similar events to take place across the city, culminating in the larger Vaisakhi parade in Surrey on April 20th. 

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