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100,000 expected at city festival.

NEARLY 100,000 people are expected to attend Vaisakhi celebrations in a Midlands park today.

Large Sikh processions will start from the Jewellery Quarter in Birmingham and from Sandwell at 11am before congregating at Handsworth park at around noon.

The celebration - one of the largest Vaisakhi gatherings in the world - attracted over 90,000 people last year to mark the formation of the Sikh nation or Khalsa Panth in 1699.

Congregations from Gurdwaras throughout Birmingham and Sandwell will share Langar meals, to overcome differences of creed and cultures. Different communities will join in the celebrations in what has become an annual spotlight of diversity across the region.

Dr Pyara Singh Bhogal, Chair of the Council of Sikh Gurdwaras in Birmingham, said: "Vaisakhi is a very important event in the Sikh calendar.

"The Council of Sikh Gurdwaras in Birmingham has organised the annual Vaisakhi celebrations in Handsworth Park with the support of the Sikh community, Birmingham City Council, our sponsors and local businesses.

"We would like to welcome everyone, Sikh and non-Sikh, to join in and share the festivities."

Coun John Cotton, from Birmingham City Council, added: "Birmingham's Vaisakhi celebrations are yet another vibrant expression of our city's rich culture, heritage and diversity.

"People from neighbourhoods across Birmingham and the wider region will be joining together to celebrate Vaisakhi and enjoy the festivities."

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Publication:Sunday Mercury (Birmingham, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Apr 28, 2013
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