Finally, they're here.
Here are the pics from the Downtown Toronto Khalsa Day Nagar Kirtan. You'll see that the parade was packed with estimates ranging from 40,000-75,000. Regardless, there were thousands in the parade and lining the route. I suppose if you count only the parade marchers it was in the 20-40,000 range and those lining the route and at City Hall would boost the numbers even more.
There were all kinds of food and drinks to be had. I'm sure the kids had a great time sampling everything from samosas, sholay bhaturay, boondi mix, pakoras, pizza, chips, etc... I tried to take pics that would give you a feel for the parade and all the sewadars that were there. Not to mention the floats that were being prepared in the morning.
My camera batteries ran out towards the end of the parade so I wasn't able to get more shots from the overpass at the end of the parade into Nathan Phillips Square, but you can the Palki Sahib entering the square.
There were thousands of t-shirts, ramalls, flags and stickers given out at the parade and they could have given out thousands more. I was told that 5,000 t-shirts were handed out and the same number of ramalls. People were lined up to get them.
The floats were great this year and for the most part well done. The Sikhs in Canadian history float was nice, with pics of Naik Nand Singh getting the Victoria Cross and also a picture of Queen Elizabeth with a turbaned Sikh soldier. There were pictures of early Sikh pioneers in B.C. as well.
There was one float that brought attention to the 13 Sikh Shaheeds who were killed in 1978 by Nirankaris with the aid of the Punjab Police in front of Harmandir Sahib (Golden Temple) complex in Amritsar on Baisakhi (Khalsa Day).
You'll see a representation of Sikhs being hanged in state sanctioned murders by Indian soldiers and of Sikhs who had tires put around their necks and were lit on fire during the November 1984 pogrom against Sikhs in Delhi.
There was one float that lead the Gatka demonstration of Shaheed Baba Deep Singh, which was really well done. It shows a Khanda da Phaul 'ceremony' pointing the way to become Khalsa in order to fulfil the vision of the Guru.
Without further adieu here are the pics. My apologies in advance for any errors. Anyone who was there is welcome to post comments as always.
Double click on the pics to enlarge them...