For more photos from Sunday’s Sikh Parade, visit http://community.turlockjournal.com/gallery/
Turlockers for more than 37 years, Dennis and Kathy Givens sat in front of their house on Sunday and watched in amazement as thousands of Sikhs marched down their residential street — and they loved every minute of it.
What they reveled in was the first ever Turlock Sikh Temple Parade, which brought together area Sikhs for a day of observance of their faith, community awareness, and fun.
Parade onlookers were treated to a barrage of snacks like rice crispy treats, beverages and tasty samples of Indian food — including a mildly spicy snack known as rehri wale chole, a mixture of dried peas, garbanzo beans, onions and spices and topped with Tapatio for the bold.
“I absolutely love this. I’ve never been to a parade where they give out so much free drinks and food,” said Kathy Givens. “The Sikh community is filled with great, warm-hearted, hard-working people. They make great neighbors and it is so great to see them have this.”
Sikh Temple volunteer Harinder Grewal said the event was held to celebrate the Sikh culture and reach out to the Turlock community to raise awareness and mutual respect.
“In India, Sikh temples always offer free food and we are bringing that here,” he explained. “The food is a gesture of thanks from our community to the people of Turlock. In the long run it will take all of us together to build a stronger community and a better place.”
While this year’s parade included just a handful of floats, Grewal said the Sikh Temple Management Committee has plans to expand the parade in the coming years.
“We will work to get the word out and have more participation,” he said.