British Columbia

Vancouver Vaisakhi celebrations go green

With the Vaisakhi parade drawing around 100,000 people, there is typically a lot of waste that's generated, mainly from items being handed out and all the free food along the parade route.

City of Vancouver hopes to make this year's celebration most environmentally friendly Vaisakhi to date

Organizer's of this year's Vancouver Vaisakhi parade are encouraging people to recycle. (Nadia Azam/Twitter)

For many children, balloons are often a highlight of Vaisakhi celebrations, but after a few minutes of playtime, they usually begin to flutter toward the sky.

There won't be any balloons this year though, because they are banned as part of the greener mandate for this year's Vancouver parade.

With the event drawing around 100,000 people, there is typically a lot of waste that's generated, mainly from items being handed out and all the free food along the parade route.

This year, the Khalsa Diwan Society's goal is to divert up to 90 per cent or 2,000 pounds of waste from landfills.

Compost and recycling stations will be provided for vendors and 30 special containers will be set up along the route between Main and Fraser streets. Two recycling headquarters and washing stations will also be available on Main.

The annual celebrations bring in people from across the region to celebrate the birth of the Khalsa and the harvest season.  Traditionally, it marks the beginning of the new year in the Sikh calendar.

"The Vaisakhi Parade has been a fixture in Vancouver for over 30 years," Khalsa Diwan Society president Kuldip Thandi said. "In the spirit of renewal and taking care of our environment, we pushed to make this Vaisakhi green and clean for everyone." 

Vancouver's mayor says the goal is to have this Vaisakhi parade the greenest of all time.

The parade will leave Ross Street temple at around 10:45 a.m. PT affecting traffic along Marine Drive, Main Street, 49th Avenue, Fraser Street, 57th Avenue, and Ross Street.

Parking in the area will be limited, so organizers suggest taking transit. They're also asking drivers to be patient.

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