SALEM, Ore. (KOIN) — Free food, martial arts and bright hues of the traditional dress stood out against the gray sky.
Saturday, June 22, marked the 13th year of the Sikh Day Parade in Salem.
Salem police officers and the Sikh riders of Canada led the parade on motorcycles as participants walked through the streets to celebrate the Sikh faith and the life of the first Sikh martyr, Guru Arjan Dev Ji.
Armaan Bir Singh Aulackh has been coming to this celebration for the last couple of years along with his uncle and father.
They say the event has huge importance to them and the entire Sikh community in Salem.
“We go through the neighborhood and tell them who we are,” Singh Aulackh’s father said. “We wait for this day almost all year, so everybody is so excited.”
The three say they are proof that this event spans generations and they hope it will continue in the community for many years to come.
Also in attendance was Andrew Ramsey.
Ramsey was convicted of a hate crime in January after attacking a Sikh man who refused to sell him cigarettes without an I.D. at a convenience store.
He pleaded guilty to 2nd-degree intimidation and 4th-degree assault and was sentenced to 36 months of probation for the incident.
On top of his probation, Ramsey is required to learn about Sikihism and was required to attend Saturday’s celebration.