Celebrate the Obon Festival Tradition in Santa Maria Valley

The Obon Festival is an annual Buddhist event held to commemorate one’s ancestors.

SANTA MARIA, CALIFORNIA, USA, July 7, 2017 /EINPresswire.com/ — (Santa Maria, Calif.) – The Santa Maria Valley has deep connections to its diverse cultural roots. From live theatre to cultural celebrations to independent art galleries, the emerging cultural scene is one of the central coast’s best-kept secrets. The annual Obon Festival will be on Sunday, July 23, 2017 from 11:30 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. at the Veteran’s Memorial Community Center at 313 West Tunnell Street in Santa Maria, Calif. Admission is free.

The Obon Festival is an annual Buddhist event held to commemorate one’s ancestors. It is believed that each year during Obon, the ancestors’ spirits return to this world in order to visit their relatives.

The festival is open to every one of all ages and will feature Taiko drumming, and Bonsai and martial arts demonstrations, with the highlight being the Obon dancing which all are welcome to participate in.

Traditional Japanese food highlighting local favorites such as udon, sushi, a teriyaki chicken dinner, kushiyaki, wontons and strawberry shortcake will be available for purchase. There will be a free, fun interactive arts and crafts area for kids, with everything from Origami to face painting, along with handmade items for purchase.

There will be raffle tickets available for $5/each, and a teriyaki chicken (1/2 chicken) dinner with rice and edamame for $10/each. Additional food and crafts will be available for purchase at the event. Street parking is free.

The Guadalupe Buddhist Church is one of the oldest Buddhist Churches of America (BCA) in California, established in 1909. The Santa Maria Valley has a unique and dramatic Nikkei history. In the early 1900s, the Japanese labor force grew to nearly 600 with the expansion of the Union Sugar Mill Company of Betteravia. By the 1910s, a cooperative, renamed the Guadalupe Japanese Association, supporting Japanese farm operations, included branches in Santa Maria, Oceano, Pismo and San Luis Obispo; and the Japantowns of Santa Maria and Guadalupe became commercial centers. While some Japanese ventured out as sharecroppers in the sugar beet fields in 1916, others began to farm other crops because of the decline in the industry.

Guadalupe became the town to visit for Japanese migrant workers who followed the crops from north to south, and for dignitaries from Japan who were intrigued by the small, but thriving agricultural town. Baseball enthusiast Setsuo Aratani proudly sponsored a team from the region in 1928 to compete in Japan.

For more information on the Obon Festival or to volunteer, please visit: guadalupebuddhistchurch.org or call 805.343.1053. To make a donation to the festival, please visit: https://www.gofundme.com/annual-obon-festival.

About Santa Maria Valley:
Serving the greater Santa Maria Valley in the heart of California’s Central Coast, the Santa Maria Valley Chamber of Commerce and Visitor & Convention Bureau is a nonprofit association that facilitates local tourism and provides information on the region’s many attractions and visitor services. Famed for its fine wines, natural wonders, agricultural heritage and flavorful barbecue, the Santa Maria Valley offers a broad range of cultural, sporting and historical experiences. For details on Santa Maria Valley lodging, wine tasting, travel deals and e-newsletter alerts, visit santamariavalley.com or call (800) 331-3779.

Chrisie Yabu
email us here

Source: EIN Presswire