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Sikhs gather downtown for annual Khalsa Day parade

More than 75,000 Sikhs marched in a sea of saffron through the streets of Toronto for the 28th annual Khalsa Day parade on Sunday.

The event marked the birth of Sikhism with traditional music, hymns, prayers, and food served from the langar, a communal kitchen.

Festivities started on Sunday morning at Exhibition Place and a parade complete with floats and martial arts followed. The route headed east on Lake Shore Boulevard West, north on York Street and east on Queen Street to Nathan Phillips Square for closing ceremonies.

Newly-minted federal Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau, NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair, Premier Kathleen Wynne and Toronto police Chief Bill Blair were among the dignitaries attending.

The event has grown since 1986, its inaugural year, when 2,000 people turned out.

Participants were asked to bring non-perishables for Daily Bread Food Bank.

Sikh youths collected more than 15,000 pounds of food at last year’s event.