Important tips for Surrey Vaisakhi Parade; ‘no helium balloons’ policy again

At last year’s Vaisakhi Parade in Surrey.
Photo by Natasha Combow

THE annual Vaisakhi Parade, taking place on April 21 in Surrey will once again host a lively and celebratory event to mark the most important time in the Sikh calendar, the celebration of the harvest and the birth of the Khalsa. This year’s celebration is expected to draw in excess of 400,000 people to the community to celebrate and enjoy one of the most important elements of the annual event, the amazing foods of India, according to a press release on Monday.

Each year hundreds of local business and individual families present free food offerings to the crowd in celebration of the prade. Organizers of event – the Gurdwara Sahib Dasmesh Darbar – along with a number of supporting agencies including Fraser Health, the Surrey RCMP, the City of Surrey (including City of Surrey Bylaws office) are reminding businesses and individuals participating in the parade route kiosks and stands to observe the following:


  1. Propane Requirements


* Installation of cylinders (when in use):

– Installed outside of buildings (this includes tents)

– Located no less than 3 feet from building openings, 10 feet horizontally from any building mechanical air intakes and 10 feet horizontally any source of ignition

– Placed so they do not block any entrances or exits, and so the propane hose is not a tripping hazard

– Placed so relief valves are pointed away from the public or sources of ignition

– Installed upright on a firm level base. Tall cylinders must be secured upright, and smaller cylinders must be placed in milk crates


* Storage of cylinders (when not in use):

– All of the above items also apply to the storage of cylinders, but stored cylinders must also be stored secured upright with their outlets capped


* Propane regulator installation:

– High pressure regulators may only be used with equipment certified for use with high pressure propane

– Regulators must be installed above the liquid level of the tank

– Installed 3 feet from building openings


* Propane Hoses

– Only manufactured certified hoses may be used with propane (NO barbed fittings or hose clamps)

– Hoses must be protected from strain and damage

– If a propane hose is damaged, it must be removed from service


* Equipment:

– All gas-fired equipment must bear a seal of approved certification mark for use in Canada. You can find a list of these marks at:

– Appliances must be certified in accordance with their manufacturer’s instructions

– Any food trucks, carts, etc. must bear an acceptable certification from either technical safety BC or an approved certification agency


* Any hazardous propane situations

– Overloaded propane cylinders that are freezing up: This is a dangerous situation where the appliance is drawing off more propane vapor than the tank can supply. If this is occurring, a larger cylinder must be used, Cylinders ARE NOT to be heated by any means.

– Propane leaks: people using propane equipment must check for leaks when connecting equipment to cylinders

– Liquid service valves used for vapor service equipment. Propane cooking equipment should only ever be connected to a vapor service valve, any equipment connected to a liquid service valve will be shut down.

– Any field modified equipment will be removed from service


Check the Surrey Vaisakhi Parade website  ( for information on safe food handling and to download the Temporary Food Permit that must be completed prior to the event in order to serve food at the event.

Anyone wishing to serve food must have a temporary hand washing area next to the food preparation area; wear gloves for all food preparation and serving; wash their hands prior to food preparation and service; keep hot food such as rice and sauces heated to a minimum of 60 degrees Celsius at all times; keep cold food cooled to 4 degrees Celsius or below at all times; have a sanitation solution at food preparation and serving locations; sanitize food cutting and preparation locations. For a full list of Do’s and Don’ts, visit the website.

Due to a potential disruption to the airspace caused by a large number of balloons being released accidentally, all participants are asked to respect an absolutely “NO HELIUM BALLOON” policy. There is a serious safety concern for air traffic due to large numbers floating into the air traffic space above the Parade route. We are asking for corporate and individual support in respecting the ‘no helium balloons’ policy on parade day.

Anyone setting up a food stand at this year’s event are asked to ensure that all tents are NOT set up on the sidewalks alongside the route. This causes a significant public hazard.

For more information about the event including the parade route visit: