“I just got back from the Sikh Parade,” I tell my friends. “The what?” they say. “The Sikh Parade. Starts near the beginning of San Joaquin Street, snakes through Downtown and across Weber, then back up California Street. Ya know?”

“Never heard of it.”

I’ve attended the Sikh Parade for three years in a row now, and I maintain that it is one of the most enjoyable and liberating events that Stockton, California, has to offer its residents.

Fresh, delicious Indian food is available on every street corner. Cultural music spills out of float speakers as they roll by. A wash of vibrant, colorful fabric streams through the street — collecting the bright spring sunlight and reflecting it against shop windows and the dashboards of parked cars.

In 2012, the April parade preluded the October celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Stockton Gurdwara on South Grant Street. This temple is the first permanent Sikh settlement in the United States, and Sikhs from all over the California Central Valley come to visit and participate in the parade’s progression through the city.

The Sikh parade happens each year at the tail end of April. 

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Brandon Getty is a State Guide to California, specifically the Central Valley region and his home city of Stockton. Follow on Tumblr at Maps to Stockton, on blogspot at Shooting Daggers, or on his Carbonmade Portfolio.