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Thousands expected for Vaisakhi festival in Gravesend

By Jenna Dobbs

With Vaisakhi fast approaching, thousands are gearing up to for the huge Sikh festival.

On Saturday, the Nagar Kirtan - or procession - will fill Gravesend with colour, before more festivities at the Gurdwara.

However, with rolling road closures in place throughout the day, it's useful to know when and where it will be happening.

Last year's Vaisakhi celebrations in Gravesend
Last year's Vaisakhi celebrations in Gravesend

Celebrations start at 12pm outside the Guru Nanak Darbar Gurdwara in Guru Nanak Marg, off Saddington Street.

The procession will then move through the town centre, before passing the Ravidas Gurdwara in Brandon Street.

Next, it will reach Clarence Place, travelling past the old Gurdwara site and down Wellington Street, before returning to the new Gurdwara at about 2.30pm.

Everyone is welcome to join in or watch, and road closures will be kept to a minimum, implemented by traffic marshalls.

Here's which roads will be affected by the Vaisakhi parade
Here's which roads will be affected by the Vaisakhi parade

Leading the Nagar Kirtan will be the Panj Pyare - the five beloved ones - and flag-bearers.

They will be followed by the Guru Granth Sahib - the Sikh holy scriptures - on a special model of the Darbar Sahib, or Golden Temple.

Behind them will be the Sangat - or congregation - either on foot or on community floats.

Crowds gather outside the Gurdwara for Vaisakhi
Crowds gather outside the Gurdwara for Vaisakhi

After this, at 2.30pm, there will be a Dharmic Mela - or religious festival - in the grounds of the Gurdwara.

It will feature singing, music, a funfair and many stalls, representing official agencies, charities and businesses.

Again, everyone is welcome to join the celebrations, which are expected to finish at around 6.30pm.

Read more: All the latest news from Gravesend

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