BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — A cultural celebration on the streets of Bakersfield as members of the local Sikh community, with deep roots in Northwestern India, held a parade in southwest Bakersfield.

This event had thousands of people from all across California attend. The Sikh community opened the event for everyone to join.

The celebration is called Vaisakhi. Vaisakhi is normally celebrated on the 13th of April but the Bakersfield Sikh community celebrated it a week early. This day is special because it marks the Sikh’s new year.

“This is a tradition started by our gurus from many many years ago. So, from that day until today it’s like going,” Manveer Dhillon, a parade volunteer said.

Events like this one bring up to 25,000 people out to celebrate. The crowds of people all celebrated by eating, mingling, shopping and praying before the start of the parade.

All the food at the event was free and it was open to the public.

“I feel very amazing. Look there are so much people here,” Pawan Aumar a parade attendee said. “I really enjoying and happy they are all attending this festival.”

As the parade kicked off, thousands of people joined it as it moved throughout the area near the temple. It’s estimated 30 to 40 thousand Sikhs live in Kern County. Most of them all living in Southwest Bakersfield.

Now attendees say the event itself is reminder for the community to help one another and to do what you can for each other.

“This is a message to our community to get all together, to help each other, stay humble, stay warm as best as you can do for other persons,” Aumar said.

The Bakersfield Sikh community host public events throughout the entire year. We’ll be sure to update you here on our website of future events.