YUBA CITY (CBS13) – An annual Sikh festival drew roughly 100,000 people to the streets of Yuba City earlier Sunday.
It was the final day of Nagar Kirtan, a three-day event that celebrates religion and community and welcomes people of all backgrounds.READ MORE: Now-Former Manteca Teacher Arrested On Suspicion Of Inappropriate Communication With A Minor
“You are with us all the time. God is one,” said attendee Rocky Kumar.
“Whenever there’s a time to give, we’re ready,” said attendee Jugraj Singh.
The Sikh community of Yuba City welcomed tens of thousands of people from around the world to take part in the 42nd annual festival.
“It’s a lot of people here, and it’s a great thing for us to get together and celebrate the day,” said attendee Parmjit Khaira.
The event was canceled last year due to COVID-19. This year, organizers took precautions like setting up sanitation stations and a health clinic offering vaccinations. But social distancing was nearly impossible with roughly 100,000 attendees.
“This parade is one of the five largest parades in the world,” said Harpreet Singh.
Singh and his family were some of the many volunteers – feeding friends and strangers alike – for free.READ MORE: Folsom Ice Skating Rink Reopens After Weeks Of Delays
“It feels good because it’s helping everybody in the community,” said Gurthaver Dhillon.
One of the three key pillars of Sikhism is Vand Chakna: sharing with others.
“It’s always sharing what you make and being a selfless servant,” said Sehej Kaur.
“If you have nothing. If they have two of one item, they’ll give you one of those items if you want it,” said Amos Gates.
Often misunderstood – and misidentified…
“People get to know us more. There’s a lot of confusion. Who’s who? Who’s not?” said a participant.
…the Sikh community’s message for others was, you are welcome to our temple, to our festival, to our delicious food.
“Any time you need help, you see a Sikh temple next to you or you can Google it, you’re more than welcome to go there. You’re going to get help. Any kind of help you need,” said Harpreet Singh.MORE NEWS: 'AMEND Changed My Life': Program For African American Students Offers Path To Success
Today’s parade started at the Sikh temple in Yuba City at 11 a.m. Floats and devotees traveled a 4.5-mile loop through the city streets.