Sikh Religious Society Participates in 4th July Celebration Parade in Palatine
Chicago: Sikh Religious Society Palatine, Illinois, participated in the American Independence Day parade held on Saturday July 2 in the village of Palatine, a suburb of Chicago Illinois. This annual parade with 74 entries was organized by the Palatine Jaycees as a part of Home Town Festival. It’s the 60th year for the annual festival, and it comes as the town is marking its 150th anniversary.
The parade ended near the community park where Palatine’s Fourth of July Celebration was in full swing. The festival included fireworks, entertainment, food vendors, parade, carnival, car show, Business expo and craft fair, Family Day and many other family activities.
More than fifty Sikh American men, women and children affiliated with Palatine Gurudwara marched with pride along with a float decorated with patriotic colors. The Sikhs distributed free cold water bottles and candy to the spectators all along the parade route.
“Nagaara” (a traditional Sikh martial drum) was setup on the float and played to sound its peculiar drum beats.
“Gatka” (Sikh martial art) was also played along the parade route.
Several Sikh medical professionals dressed in their professional white coats and stethoscopes, lead the parade.
“The purpose of our participation is to celebrate the Fourth of July, and also proudly display our Sikh community and culture,” said Dr. Rajbir Kaur Grewal of Palatine.
An informational pamphlet “The Sikhs” was also distributed to the curious public.
Thousands of local resident families and children lined up alongside the parade route to cheer and enjoy a holiday on a beautiful day. The spectators watched, waved, welcomed and cheered the Sikh Americans walking down the parade sporting flowing beards and colorful turbans.
Punjabi Bhangra Dhols (drums) were also played live, the spectators clapped, smiled and danced to the drum beats.
“Festivals like these bring people together. when thousands are watching, it’s a great opportunity to create awareness about Sikhs, which is mistaken by most Americans,” said Rajinder Singh Mago the coordinator of the Sikh participation in the parade.
Palatine is home to Sikh Religious Society Gurdwara, the oldest in Midwest America.
The S.R.S. participation in the Palatine parade was coordinated by Rajinder Singh Mago, Tarlochan Singh Dhillon, Rajbir Kaur Grewal and many other volunteers.