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Manitoba’s Sikh community to parade through Winnipeg’s downtown Sunday

Manitoba’s Sikh community is expected to bring Winnipeg’s downtown to life Sunday afternoon for the Nagar Kirtan parade, an annual celebration of the Guru Granth Sahib, the holy scripture of Sikhism.

The parade, which is returning for the second time since a pandemic hiatus, is expected to draw about 20,000 people.

Jujar Brar, vice president of the Sikh Society of Manitoba, which is helping organize the event, said the number of people who turn out will be a testament to how much the Sikh population has grown in the province and a demonstration of the community’s generosity.

“We’re celebrating a very historical event in Sikhi, but … also we are celebrating the home we found here in the city and in the province of Manitoba,” he told CBC News on Saturday.

“You can definitely see how our people have grown more comfortable and felt more at home here in the city,” Brar said.

The parade is set to begin at Memorial Boulevard and York Ave. at 12:30 p.m. The procession will travel down York then turn on Garry St. before making its way back to Memorial Park via Broadway.

A celebration will take place at the park, complete with free food for attendees, traditional Sikh music and greetings from provincial political party members.

The Sikh community will also present a donation of more than $50,000 to the Children’s Hospital Foundation, Brar said.

Memorial Boulevard from York Avenue to Broadway will be completely closed to traffic until 6 p.m. Sunday, according to the city. 

York’s eastbound lanes, from Memorial to Garry, and Garry’s southbound lanes, from York to Broadway, will be closed.

According to the City of Winnipeg’s website, the westbound curb lane of Broadway, from Kennedy Street to Colony Street, will also be closed,

Those closures will last until 2:45 p.m. Sunday, the city said in a social media post.

Brar said Hundreds of volunteers are currently working to prepare for Sunday’s festivities.

“None of this would really be possible without their time and effort,” he said.

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