YUBA CITY, CA – Nearly 85,000 people from all over the globe attended the 35th annual Sikh parade here, to mark the 306th Coronation Day of Guru Granth Sahib on Nov. 2. This parade, which concludes the three day event, is recognized as the largest Nagar Kirtan or Sikh religious procession in the United States.
The main float was followed by 30 others that represented themes from Sikh history, culture and traditions. Couple of floats displayed the anti-Sikh riots that happened 30 years ago, in 1984 in New Delhi and other parts of India.
Nearly 100 food booths lined the parade route that distributed 50 different types of food including pakoras, tikki, corn, makki di roti, saag and a lot more. A booth offered fresh orange juice to the attending guests. A big draw was the fresh sugar cane juice with thousands lining up for it.
Before the launch of the parade, state and local political and community leaders participated in and addressed the congregation in the main hall of the Gurdwara. Among them were Congressman Doug LaMalfa, California State Senator Jim Nielsen, Assemblyman Dan Logue and candidate for the State Assembly, James Gallagher. From the State Assembly in Sacramento also came an American and California flag on the occasion.
Yuba City and Sutter County, in a proclamation declared the week as “Coronation of Guru Granth Sahib Week.”
On Nov. 1, an event was organized by the Gurdwara management committee, attended by the Sikh congregation, local administration and police department. A 35 minute documentary on the Oak Creek tragedy that happened on Aug 5, 2012, ‘Waking in Oak Creek’ was shown. Police Lieutenant District/Watch Commander Lieutenant Lincoln Eden, Sheriff Paul Parker, Jim Whitaker and Stan Cleavland from Supervisory Board, Mayor of Yuba City Kash Gill and Mayor of Marysville city Ricky Samayoa attended the event. Devotees attended the Keertan Darbar on this day that started from 6 pm and continued till 1 am the next morning. Participating Ragi Jathas included Bhai Sarabjit Singh from Darbar Sahib Amritsar, Bhai Satwinder Singh Harwinder Singh from Delhi, Giani Saroop Singh Kandiana Dhadi Jatha from Punjab, Bhai Sucha Singh Kavishar and Bhai Tara Singh, Head Granthi, Sikh Temple Gurdwara Yuba City. Over 200 vendors had set up booths to sell their wares and this bazaar extended across a expanse of five acres of land. Tejinder Singh Dosanjh, a spokesman and organizer with the Sikh Temple while talking to IJ said it was amazing to see the desire of the Sikh Sangat to serve others. He said this year “more American friends” joined the parade.
He added that on all three days the whole neighborhood was lit by nearly 2 million small LED bulbs at night and that the fireworks on the evening of October 31 was unanimously considered spectacular by all who witnessed it.