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The Sikh Religious Society (SRS) Palatine, a suburb of Chicago Illinois, participated in the 65th. Annual Palatine Parade held on Saturday July 2nd as a part of the Hometown Festival held on June 30, 2022 – July 4, 2022, organized by the Palatine Jaycees to celebrate Fourth of July, America’s Independence Day. The village of Palatine, a suburb of Chicago where Sikh Religious Society has operated a Gurdwara (Sikh place of worship) since 1979.

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The Sikh Religious Society is a regular participant in this parade and has received several awards over the years. This year was no different. This year again the Sikh contingent was judged the "Best Overall" out of 72 entries. The Hometown Festival located in Palatine at Community Park at 262 E Palatine Road, Palatine IL included live bands, food vendors, carnival, business expo and craft fair, Family Day, fireworks and many other family activities. Despite the sweltering heat, enthusiastic crowds of people dressed in red, white and blue colors lined the streets along the parade route in great numbers to celebrate the day for the first time in three years. The parade was also broadcast on the local Comcast TV channel.

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The parade had 72 entries which included school children, entries from civic organizations, marching bands, professional entertainment, local businesses, local government officials, Fire, Police and other village entities, and elected officials. The parade led off with a large contingent of police vehicles and officers, followed by fire equipment, and many political candidates running for state, local and national office. Sikh American men, women and children affiliated with Palatine Gurdwara marched alongside their float decorated in patriotic colors, banners and flags. A “Nagaara” drum was set up on the float and played sounding its unique beats all through the parade. Several Sikh children were dressed up in armed forces uniforms. The Sikhs distributed free ice cold bottled water which was greatly welcomed and appreciated. Bags of candy were also distributed to the spectators all along the parade route. An informational pamphlet "Basics of Sikhi" was also shared with the curious spectators. Over the years the Palatine spectators have come to love the Sikh’s participation in the parade.

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“We are proud to display our presence in the town where our gurdwara is a part. We must participate to show that we are part of this town. It was great team work to put our parade entry together during a holiday weekend and hot weather. I would like to thank all the team members for their SEWA,” said Jairam Singh Kahlon, the Sikh Religious Society President.

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“The purpose of our participation is to celebrate America's Independence Day, and also proudly display our Sikh American community heritage and culture. It's a great opportunity to create awareness about Sikhs," said Rajinder Singh Mago, the float entry coordinator.

The spectators waved, welcomed, clapped and cheered the Sikh Americans walking down the parade sporting flowing beards and colorful turbans. "Happy fourth of July" was the slogan enthusiastically reciprocated by the spectators. Palatine is home to Sikh Religious Society Gurdwara, the oldest in Midwest America.


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