Never been to the annual Sikh festival and parade? 

Some people are intimidated by the size of the crowds; some feel funny about “gawking” at another culture. Some just aren’t sure they’re welcome.

You should try to get over those feelings and go. It’s an incredible experience to have right here in Yuba-Sutter – it’s a hundred thousand people who are glad to be there and happy to have you visit. So what if you’re not like the others? They don’t mind ... they’re eager to have outsiders learn about them, their religion, their culture.

Why go?

1. It’s the closest most of us will get to visiting India ... specifically the Punjab state. It’s a long way off, of course, but if you go to the festival on Tierra Buena Road, you’ve been somewhere different.

2. It’s about tradition and the spirituality of a significant percentage of our local population. They’re our neighbors. They are with us; we should be with them.

3. Amenities: Music, for one. Walk in the temple this afternoon and hear wonderful music played by skilled musicians. Food, for another. It’s prepared to feed thousands of people ... yet it tastes as if they fixed it for you. (Are you worried about spices and heat? We haven’t had anything that we would think would bother most people with a taste for the mild, but if you worry about, ask the servers what’s hot and what’s not.)

4. It’s a hundred thousand people. It can be a little intimidating. But tell yourself to get over, smile and make your way around the grounds, into the temple for a visit, into a food line, around the bazaar. It is a little intimidating at first; then it is awesome.

It will help if you give yourself plenty of time. It can take a while to park on Saturdays (Sunday is a breeze if you park in River Valley High’s lot and take the shuttle).

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Thumbs Up: I have no idea what kind of people were the first to crack open an oyster and slurp up the contents. They might have been prehistoric drunkards. Or teenaged siblings daring each other to do disgusting things. Or they might have been starving to death.

And today it remains one of the deep dividers in personalities: those who love raw oysters; those of you who believe we are disgusting for loving them.

I’m also not knowledgeable about why I’m looking at a picture of David Read, head of Yuba Sutter Arts, wearing what appears to be a crown of oyster shells on his head. It was in last Sunday’s Family and Friends section (a great venue for community news ... contact Veronica at vcatlin@appealdemocrat.com).

I also don’t know whose idea it was to hold an “Art & Oysters” event in Yuba City ... probably the aforementioned Read. It’s been a time or two since we were able to attend the “Art & Oysters” slurpaganza ... but we recommend it. I recommend it for the oysters; my wife recommends you look away. Organizers of the Nov. 10 event are promising bigger and better: more oysters, more music, more art.

It’s a collaboration between Yuba Sutter Arts and South Yuba County Rotary, it runs from 4 to 8 p.m. at Justin’s Kitchen, 628 Plumas Street in Yuba City (the site now days of many artistic endeavors).

Tickets are $40 each or $75 for two, when purchased in advance. Admission gets you all the oysters you can eat, plus side dishes. Go online at yubasutterarts.org or in person at the Yuba Sutter Arts office in Marysville. The event is limited to 100 guests and they sell out.

It’s a great way to spend a Sunday evening in November. Give it a try. 

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Ugh: The following gems are courtesy of my deeply respected friend Dennis.

– My friend bought a new pair of shoes with memory foam insoles ... he figured that would be the end to forgetting why he walked into the kitchen.

– Little Jerry’s parents had the habit of letting swear words slip out now and then and would follow up with: “Excuse my French.” It was quite a day at school for Jerry when his teacher asked if anyone knew any French.

– When you’re dead, they say, you don’t know you’re dead. The pain is only felt by others. The same thing happens when you’re stupid.

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