ARCHIVED - Annual Surrey Vaisakhi Festival

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Article / April 30, 2015

On April 18, 2015, the 15th Field Artillery Regiment, RCA participated in the annual Sikh Vaisakhi Festival in Surrey, British Columbia for the 3rd year in a row. The festival in Surrey, BC, is one of the largest Vaisakhi celebrations in North America and commemorates an important religious event – the birth of Sikhism – and is celebrated as a harvest for the Sikh New Year.

The Sikh Vaisakhi Festival was attended by over 250,000 of all cultural and religious backgrounds. As part of the harvesting tradition, food and drink is provided to attendees free of charge by businesses and residents. The Parade itself consisted of a large number of floats as well as local performers providing music and dance. Intermingled with these floats was the 15th Field Artillery Regiment, RCA along with a number of other vehicles from the 39 Canadian Brigade Group.

Road closures were in effect from 7:30am to 5:00pm between 72 Avenue and 88 Avenue as well as from 123 Street to 132 Street. Traffic control and public safety had been provided by the RCMP and hundreds of Event Volunteers along the parade route.

The Regiment towed a 105mm C3 Howitzer with its Medium-weight support vehicle - the MSVS. As part of the parade, spectators were offered the opportunity to sit inside the MSVS and take pictures with the C3 Howitzer. The warm weather was an encouragement for spectators to watch members of the Regiment demonstrate the capabilities of the C3 Howitzer during parade halts and get hands-on experience themselves.

The Sikh community, and indeed, all participants in the parade were extraordinarily welcoming towards the Canadian Armed Forces.  Importantly, the Vaisakhi Festival provided a culturally-rich experience that the 15th Field Artillery Regiment, RCA was proud to be a part of.

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