In Sutter County, 100,000 expected at annual Sikh Parade at Yuba City–200,000 free meals to be served

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Festival goers line up outside of the Sikh Temple on Tierra Buena Road in preparation for the Nagar Kirtan, an annual procession in which Sikhs carry their holy scripture from the temple through the streets of Yuba City. An estimated 100,000 are expected to attend events beginning Friday night and culminating in Sunday’s parade. (Photo: UC Davis)

This is the weekend of the Yuba City Sikh festival, one of the biggest and most spectacular Sikhism annual events outside of India, drawing hundreds of thousands of devotees and spectators. The three day Guru Gadee (Gaddi) Diwas festivities celebrate the inaugural anniversary of Guru Granth Sahib, Sikhism’s holy scripture.

Weekend events  include worship services and climaxes with the Nagar Kirtan, an annual procession in which Sikhs carry their holy scripture from the gurdwara (literal translation: the door to the guru’s house of worship) on Tierra Buena Road through the streets of Yuba City singing devotional hymns.

Cramming the gurdwara grounds and spilling out to line the parade route are bazaars with wares catering to every whim and need associated with Sikhism interspersed with free food booths offering every sort of delectable langar, a tradition passed down from the very first Sikh guru.

People of all cultures, faiths, and beliefs are invited to participate in events at the Gurdwara and to the parade. It is estimated that volunteers will prepare 200,000 free meals, and 100,000 people will be along the parade route.

Parade Route: (Courtesy, Appeal-Democrat) The procession starts at the Yuba City Sikh Temple – 2468 Tierra Buena Road. From there, it goes south on Tierra Buena Road to Butte House Road. Then the procession heads east to Civic Center Boulevard, where it turns south, loops around Poole Boulevard and Stabler Lane before traveling back toward the temple on Butte House Road. In total, the route runs a little over four miles.