Thousands of Sikhs take to the streets for Vaisakhi

Thousands of Sikh worshippers took to the streets to celebrate Vaisakhi in the West Midlands today.

The colourful procession started at the Guru Nanak Gurdwara, in Walsall Road, Willenhall, following a route through the town centre. It paused briefly outside the Shri Guru Ravi Dass Sabha, in Somerford Road, before winding its way along the B4484 Fibbersley to March End Road to the Wednesfield Gurdwara, in Well Lane.

The march is organised by members from the three temples and the organisers say it is the biggest parade to have taken place in recent years.

Wednesfield South councillor Bhupinder Singh Gakhal, who helped to organise it, said: “The procession has been beautiful, it’s been really lovely and went like a dream. We had about 3,000 turn up. We normally get a crowd of about 2,500, but it was definitely busier this year.

“The message is about celebrating Vaisakhi and everyone is welcome to join in not just Sikhs. Along the route lots of residents came out of their houses to watch the spectacle and to hand out food and drinks.

“I would like to thank Walsall Council and Wolverhampton City Council, the police and the other organisations for their support. Everybody enjoyed themselves.”

Jay Singh, 35, of Walsall, who was a ceremonial guard for the procession, says: “We hold the procession to make others more aware of Sikhism and to mark the start of the Khalsa or Singh, which means Army of God.”

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