KHALSA DAY PARADE 2019 IN KENT, WA
On May 4th, the Sikhs held the "Annual Khalsa Day Parade" at the Showare Center in Kent, WA. It was mainly organized by Gurudwara Singh Sabha of Washington, Renton with other Gurudwaras and other organizations participating.
It is very well organized. The notices of street closures are posted well in advance. Being in the early of the May, the streets were not very hot since the Panj Piyare and other dedicated walk bare foot. The weather was also not very hot. The Kent Police and other law enforcement work together with the local Sikh population. This year, I heard the sirens of the Ambulance when the Nagar Kirtan was on the street. The group divided and the Ambulance was able to pass through. The ambulance also took off the sirens and passed through silently.
Sikh population has grown in Washington State for the last few years. It is close to Canada in the north and California in the south. At one time there were very few families who lived in Seattle. Today there are grocery stores, restaurants, cloth merchants, jewelry stores, which reminds you of Surrey when it was growing a few years back. I use to drive to Surrey and Vancouver few years back to buy groceries and to immerse in Indian flavors. Today you can buy anything in Seattle.
The gatka (martial arts of the Sikhs) is a big attraction. Lot of Americans like to try the turbans too. Sikhs wear their best colors to participate in the Nagar Kirtan.
Few years back we had featured “Little India in WA.” Today it is no more “Little India.” There are strip malls, shopping centers, restaurants, wedding halls, dedicated to the Indian population. If you do not know English; no problem. Just look around and you will see an Indian. Therefore lot of old people feel comfortable living in Seattle these days. Weather is fairly decent. The home prices are not too high (compared to Canada or California). You can easily establish a business in Kent. I bet you: You will be "Sleepless in Seattle" because you will be working very hard.
In the past I have seen some Sikh exhibits. I saw some Americans who came to the celebration. However more Americans should be invited through "Every Door Direct Mail" and advertising through other local newspapers. Some information about Sikh community should be distributed especially because of hate crimes. Overall, it is a great community gathering event.