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It was an overcast, grey Easter Sunday in a virtually deserted town centre.

But the annual Vaisakhi Parade by the town’s Sikh community brought plenty of colour – mostly orange – and sound to Huddersfield’s streets.

The parade, organised by officials of the Guru Nanak Temple, Springwood, brought hundreds of Sikhs from across West Yorkshire to celebrate Vaisakhi.

The festival celebrates the day in 1699 when the 10th Guru, Guru Gobind Singh, founded the Sikh community known as the Khalsa.

The procession, which began at Guru Nanak Temple, Prospect Street, wound through Huddersfield town centre before marching up Bradford Road to the Sri Guru Singh Sabha Temple, Hillhouse Lane, Fartown.

 

The march was led by a drummer, a prayer float and five devout Sikhs carrying swords.

The parade was followed by a coach for those unable to walk the full distance.

The Guru Nanak Temple received a best wishes letter from Prime Minister David Cameron.

Temple president Inderpal Rhandawa said: “This is the biggest festival in the Punjab for Sikhs because it celebrates the birth of Sikhism.

“I’m very proud and very, very happy that the Huddersfield Sikh community and communities from the surrounding area – Halifax, Wakefield, Barnsley, Leeds and Bradford – have joined us and I want to thank everyone who has joined this very good function to celebrate Vaisakhi with us.

“It rained this morning but with the blessing of God we have nice weather now.”

Among those present were Kirklees Deputy Mayor Clr Ken Smith and Colne Valley MP Jason McCartney as well as community leaders and magistrates.

Of the parade Clr Smith said: “It’s always growing year by year but I’m not surprised because the Sikh community locally is such a warm, family-friendly community.

“The community is so proud of its heritage, as it should be.”

Police closed a number of roads to allow the parade to pass.

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