Sikhs Ask for Coordination on Parade Rules

May 22, 2007

Author: James Burger

Source: The Bakersfield Californian

Parade ordinances and religious freedoms tangled Tuesday in the Kern County Board of Supervisors chambers.

Members of Bakersfield's Sikh community asked supervisors to find common ground with city fathers on where parades can be held in the metro area.

City ordinances allow parades to be held in only five specific locations, said Kern County Counsel Bernard Barmann.

County ordinances allow parades to be held anywhere.

That inconsistency is causing problems for local Sikhs, who hold massive parades with floats and thousands of walkers as a celebration of their faith.

Nazar Kooner said the five local temples held the parades in nearby neighborhoods until people complained to the city about the crowding and noise from the weekend events.